The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 19, 2011 released the following:
“Gretna Attorney Charged with Wire Fraud of More Than $1.6 Million
NEW ORLEANS— MICHAEL RICHARD BARK, 57, a resident of Gretna, Louisiana, was charged in a one-count bill of information with wire fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Jim Letten.
According to the bill of information, BARK, in addition to his law practice, also actively sought investors for trading in “FOREX” futures. The term FOREX refers to the practice of purchasing foreign currencies and attempting to profit from the daily variable values of the foreign currencies versus the value of the U.S. dollar. Beginning sometime during November 2006 and continuing through February 2009, BARK devised a scheme to defraud while marketing FOREX investments by falsely representing to his clients that he invested their money in FOREX investments returning between twelve and thirty percent profit per month, thus increasing the value of their accounts exponentially. Instead of investing the funds as promised, BARK invested client funds in a variety of other business investments that were not authorized and that were without the knowledge of his clients, which resulted in a total loss of at least $1,605,942 to his clients.
If convicted, BARK faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, a $250,000 fine, as well as restitution to his victims.
U.S. Attorney Letten reiterated that a bill of information is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carter K. D. Guice, Jr.”
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