Former Gunnison County Man Charged in Alleged Scheme to Defraud Investors in NASCAR Business

June 6, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on June 5, 2012 released the following:

“DENVER— Michael Patrick Corrigan, age 57, formerly of Gunnison County, Colorado, was arrested early this morning without incident in Tuscaloosa, Alabama for mail and wire fraud offenses related to his fraudulent actions involving the sale of investment opportunities in a NASCAR memorabilia company, U.S. Attorney John Walsh and FBI Special Agent in Charge James Yacone announced today. Corrigan appeared in U.S. District Court in Birmingham, Alabama, where he was advised of the charged pending against him and the penalties related to those charges. A detention hearing is scheduled to take place later this week in Birmingham. He will eventually come to Colorado so that he can face the charges here, where he was indicted.

According to the indictment, Racezing Mania Corporation (RZM) was incorporated in Colorado in April 2006. Michael Patrick Corrigan was the registered agent. The purpose of RZM was to be a distributor of NASCAR memorabilia, specifically, die-cast cars and apparel. The business was registered to an address in Crested Butte. There was also a P.O. box in Clarksville, Indiana. NascarMania LLC was the parent company of RZM. NascarMania was incorporated under the laws of the Nevada in 2005. This company was also controlled by Corrigan. In addition, Markettron Holdings LLC was also controlled by Corrigan. From the companies’ inceptions, until the latter part of 2007, Corrigan was president of NascarMania and treasurer of RZM. Corrigan maintained his position as treasurer of RZM, and he and his wife had sole control of RZM finances of RZM.

The stated purpose of RZM was to specialize in racecar team sponsorships, custom-die cast car sales, and Internet marketing sales. RZM also offered “investment opportunity and value to both current and potential investors.” Between 2005 and 2008, Corrigan, using material misrepresentations and omissions, fraudulently solicited investors into his NASCAR memorabilia business. To create an appearance of credibility, the defendant created a RZM board of directors, which included several investors of RZM.

Corrigan solicited and interacted with investors through e-mail, telephone calls, mailings, and Internet websites. He also initiated a “club concept” in which investors contributed $500 for a membership position. Corrigan promised every investor a percentage of the sales of the NASCAR-related merchandise. He also sold membership to “affiliate sites,” or websites available for purchase by investors, for $1,250. The purpose of these sites was to sell NASCAR memorabilia through “spam” e-mails sent by RZM, which directed potential customers to the affiliate’s website. Corrigan guaranteed investors would receive a minimum of $100 weekly net profit, as well as 10,000 leads per week a $250 commissions for every affiliate site sale. An “E-Commerce” club offered membership positions for $5,000. Investors involved in this club were promised a percentage of the company’s returns from the Internet sales of NASCAR-related merchandise.

During the course of the scheme, Corrigan claimed to have the ability to generate income and profits through his three business units. He claimed to be expecting first-year sales totaling $38,500,000, netting $15,409.688 in profit. By 2011, Corrigan projected sales totaling $308,336,426, netting $135,852,298 in profit. Corrigan also informed investors and potential investors that RZM stock would be publicly traded, and, as a result, depending on the amount of the initial investment with RZM, several investors would become millionaires. The defendant was never authorized to use investor funds for his or his family’s personal use. Between 2005 and 2008, he obtained approximately $950,000.

“Combating investment fraud is one of this office’s top priorities: scamming investors out of their hard-earned dollars has criminal consequences, including potential prison time,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh.

“The FBI does not take white-collar crime lightly and will aggressively pursue those that take advantage of hard working Americans,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge James Yacone. “The FBI will continue to protect the financial wealth of individuals enabling our economy to continue to grow safely and securely.”

Corrigan faces four counts of mail fraud and four counts of wire fraud. If convicted, he faces not more than 20 years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine, per count. He could also be ordered to pay restitution.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Corrigan is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Heldmyer.

The charges contained in the indictment are allegations, and the defendant is innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

Federal Mail Fraud Crimes

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


FBI director Robert Mueller tells Miami Chamber: Mortgage fraud and other white-collar crimes rate high priority

April 5, 2012

The Miami Herald on April 5, 2012 released the following:

“FBI Director Robert Mueller told a Chamber of Commerce audience that the agency remains committed to solving major financial crimes prevalent in South Florida

BY MARTHA BRANNIGAN

The FBI has remade itself in the post-9/11 era to focus on counterterrorism, but the agency continues to battle major financial fraud in key areas familiar to South Florida, like mortgages and healthcare as well as corporate and securities violations, FBI director Roberts Mueller told a lunch audience at the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Wednesday.

The events of Sept. 11, 2001 triggered a new emphasis on cooperation among agencies and the use of intelligence to drive traditional white-collar crime investigations, Mueller told the gathering of 350 business and government officials at the Jungle Island luncheon.

“We have not neglected our criminal responsibilities,’’ he said. “What has changed is that we make greater use of intelligence and partnerships to focus our limited resources.’’

With tighter lending standards in the wake of the housing meltdown, mortgage fraud has morphed into “schemes aimed at distressed homeowners, such as loan modification scams and phony foreclosure rescues,’’ said Mueller, who became the FBI’s top cop on Sept. 4, 2001, the eve of the terror attacks.

Mueller said so-called “rescue services’’ hold out hope of helping homeowners avoid foreclosure, but instead extract big fees and personal information from victims, who sometimes are swayed “to sign away the deeds to their homes.’’

Among other priorities for the new FBI, Mueller said, is targeting rampant healthcare fraud. “Providers bill the government and insurers for excessive or unnecessary services and even for services they never provide,’’ he said, citing the recent case against officials at South Florida-based American Therapeutic Corp., who manipulated patients to receive unneeded treatment and padded bills to Medicare.

Another FBI focus — corporate and securities fraud — is also a familiar phenomenon to South Florida, Mueller said, citing the case of Scott Rothstein, the Fort Lauderdale attorney who led a $1.6 billion Ponzi scheme that hinged on selling interests in the proceeds of judgments from non-existent lawsuits.

In summing up, the FBI director urged chamber guests to take action when they see financial shenanigans. “You can learn to recognize financial fraud and unscrupulous business practices to better protect yourself and your companies. And you can alert us wehn you see these activities take place,’’ he said.

Chamber president Barry Johnson said the FBI and the chamber worked for two years to schedule Mueller’s visit. “He was interested in talking to South Florida, given the level of financial fraud operating in our part of the world. And they were looking for a business venue,’’ Johnson said.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Mail Fraud Crimes

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Denver FBI office investigating more cases of public corruption

January 22, 2012

Denver Post on January 22, 2012 released the following:

“By Felisa Cardona
The Denver Post

The Denver FBI is investigating more than a dozen cases of public corruption in Colorado, Wyoming and Indian country.

The number of investigations is up from three years ago, when agents in the public-corruption unit launched a special hotline urging people to come forward with information.

At the time, the FBI said either no public corruption existed in the region, which was unlikely, or it was underreported. But things have changed.

“We are very busy right now,” said Supervising Special Agent Brian Schmitt. “I don’t know if it is a result of the down economy or if there are more avenues to report.”

Public corruption is defined as an abuse of public office or position within the government for personal gain.

Agents won’t provide details about pending cases but say theft and mishandling of stimulus funds, legislative corruption and law enforcement corruption are the types of crimes they look into.

White-collar crimes such as bribery, fraud, extortion, embezzlement, insider trading and influence peddling take a long time to investigate and require agents who have special skills.

In 2010, the FBI opened an investigation into a Denver driving-school instructor who was taking bribes in exchange for passing tests.

Criminal charges haven’t been filed against Sikiru Fadeyi, the owner of Ola’s Driving School, but undercover agents infiltrated his business and recorded him accepting bribes, court records show.

The reason charges have not materialized against Fadeyi — who was an agent of the state because he was licensed to administer tests — is because of the complex nature of the investigation. Leads from that case extend to other states as far away as New York and Hawaii.

For now, Fadeyi’s license is suspended and he is not allowed to operate the driving school.

FBI agents routinely work cases with local law enforcement, but when it comes to corruption investigations, the agents tackle them alone. They don’t want local officers with ties to a particular city or agency in conflict with the investigation.

Public-corruption cases — such as the charges against former Democratic Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich — receive intense coverage by the media and are followed closely by the public, which can complicate investigations for the FBI.

Witnesses are less likely to come forward when there is too much attention on a case, Schmitt said.

Also, agents and federal prosecutors are aware that the targets of white-collar investigations typically hire top-notch defense lawyers to fight the charges.

“The cases we put together have to be rock solid,” he said.

Schmitt said corruption in the region isn’t rampant as it is in places such as Detroit and New Orleans, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

“Anywhere you have money and power, corruption follows,” he said.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


An Ex-FBI Official Explains Lack of Convictions Tied to Financial Crisis

December 6, 2011
FBI Seal

The Wall Street Journal on December 6, 2011 released the following:

“By Joe Palazzolo

There was a time, after the financial crisis, when federal agents and prosecutors thought they had another savings-and-loan type situation on their hands. Those criminal probes in the 1980s and 1990s landed more than 1,000 bankers in prison.

But their hopes slowly gave way to frustration over how to prove criminal intent, according to David Cardona, who was a deputy assistant director at FBI until he left last month for a job at the SEC.

“A lot” of the Justice Department’s criminal investigations “hinge on disclosure. . . . What does adequate disclosure mean? And those are really technical arguments that sometimes get lost with a jury,” Cardona told The Wall Street Journal’s Jean Eaglesham, offering one of the starkest explanations yet for the government’s track record in prosecuting possible wrongdoing tied to the crisis.

“That’s what makes these cases difficult to charge many times. And that certainly was the case with” a criminal investigation into two collateralized debt obligations created by Goldman Sachs in 2007 that soon plummeted in value, he said. A spokesman for Goldman declined to comment.

Many of the FBI’s criminal probes stemming from the crisis have gone nowhere, including investigations of AIG, mortgage lender Countrywide Financial (now part of Bank of America), Washington Mutual and Goldman. The SEC, meanwhile, has filed crisis-related civil-fraud cases against 81 firms and individuals, and it has negotiated almost $2 billion in penalties in cases that have been settled.

U.S. officials also are wary of bringing to trial criminal prosecutions where a jury might decide the losses were due to bad judgment or market conditions, not deceit. Cardona said the 2009 acquittal in the Bear Stearns case was part of a “learning curve on which cases we . . . feel we have the ability to convince a jury that criminality has occurred.”

Thus, cases that turn on technical issues such as disclosure are being left for civil-enforcement actions, he said. The SEC still is pursuing civil-fraud charges against the two former hedge-fund managers. Their lawyers declined to comment.

A Justice Department spokeswoman said, “We have brought hundreds of criminal cases for mortgage fraud, investment fraud and other white-collar crimes. When we find evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime was committed, we will not hesitate to pursue criminal charges.””

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

Federal Mail Fraud Crimes

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Stephen L. Morris Named Special Agent in Charge of the Houston Division

July 18, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on July 18, 2011 released the following:

“Director Robert S. Mueller, III named Stephen L. Morris special agent in charge of the FBI’s Houston Division. Mr. Morris most recently served as deputy assistant director in the Criminal Justice Information Services Division since March 2008.

Mr. Morris joined the FBI in 1988 as an administrative file clerk in the Honolulu Division. He completed new agent training in Quantico, Virginia in 1991 and was assigned to the El Paso Division, where he investigated white-collar crimes, violent crimes, and drug cases.

In 1996, he supervised the initiation and implementation of the El Paso criminal intelligence squad. Shortly after, he was promoted as supervisory special agent in the Criminal Investigative Division at FBI Headquarters.

While at FBI Headquarters, he supervised the FBI’s domestic and international criminal informant programs in support of violent crime, drug trafficking, white-collar crime, and terrorism investigations. In 1999, he was promoted to the Cincinnati Division as supervisory senior resident agent for the Dayton Resident Agency.

In 2003, he was promoted as assistant special agent in charge in the Houston Division. In this position, he managed the division’s white-collar crime and civil rights programs and directed the administrative and investigative operations conducted by Houston’s six resident agencies.

Mr. Morris was promoted into the Senior Executive Service in 2005 and was designated chief of the Programs Support Section in the Criminal Justice Information Services Division. Additionally, he served as program manager for the FBI’s development of the Law Enforcement National Data Exchange program.

In 2006, he returned to FBI Headquarters and was appointed as chief of the Strategic Information and Operations Center. In this position, he managed the FBI’s 24-hour global command center for strategic information and crisis management.

Mr. Morris is a South Carolina native and graduated from Hawaii Pacific University in 1990.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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