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US v. Webman, et al. (CheckMate Financial)


Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (CLOSED)

Most recent update 10/12/06 (See end of document)

United States v. Melvin Webman, et al., Case No. 06-CR-20069-Altonaga (S.D. Florida)

Update 3/23/06:

On March 23, 2006, a second superseding indictment was filed that charges six individuals with fraud-related offenses in connection with CheckMate Financial, Inc. (“CheckMate Financial”). The indictment states that from April 2004 until at least in or around February 2005, CheckMate Financial solicited monies from individuals to fund a business that was purported to operate mobile check-cashing vehicles. The indictment contains the following charges:

• Melvin Webman, corporate vice president and secretary of CheckMate Financial, and a closer at CheckMate Financial, is charged with one count of conspiracy, seven counts of mail fraud, and fourteen counts of wire fraud.

• Chester Potash, corporate president, chief executive officer, owner of CheckMate Financial, and a closer at CheckMate Financial, is charged with one count of conspiracy, seven counts of mail fraud and fourteen counts of wire fraud.

• Max Bacal, a manager and closer at CheckMate Financial, is charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of mail fraud, and two counts of wire fraud.

• Ian Alan Weiss, a/k/a “Alan Weiss,” a closer and loader at CheckMate Financial, is charged with one count of conspiracy and six counts of wire fraud.

• Ronald Sloan, a fronter and closer at CheckMate Financial, is charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of mail fraud, and one count of wire fraud.

• Scott Rose, a fronter and closer at CheckMate Financial, is charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of mail fraud, and one count of wire fraud.

Charges contained in the indictment are simply accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty it is to determine guilt or innocence.

Update 4/4/2006:

Defendant Richard Sloan pled guilty on April 4, 2006, to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
The Court ordered that the criminal jury trial for the other five defendants was to commence August 1, 2006, in Miami, Florida, before the Honorable Judge Cecilia Altonaga.

Update 6/15/06:

Defendant Melvin Webman pled guilty on June 15, 2006, to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Webman was allowed to remain free on bond and was scheduled to be sentenced on August 24 at 8:30 a.m.

The four remaining defendants remain scheduled for a criminal jury trial before Judge Altonaga beginning August 1, 2006.

Update 6/30/06:

Defendant Richard Sloan was sentenced to serve 63 months of imprisonment in a federal penitentiary in or near South Florida with three years supervised release. Sloan was ordered to pay a special assessment of $100 and restitution of $47,500. The defendant was scheduled to report to the U.S. Marshal on August 18, 2006 at 2:00 p.m.

Update 7/7/06:

Defendant Chester Potash pled guilty on July 7, 2006, to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. See U.S. Attorney's Office Press Release (7/7/06), “CheckMate Financial, Inc. Defendant Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Mail and Wire Fraud." Potash is scheduled to be sentenced on September 14, 2006.

The three remaining defendants remain scheduled for a criminal jury trial before Judge Altonaga beginning August 1, 2006.

Update 7/19/2006
 
Defendant Max Bacal pled guilty on July 19, 2006, to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.  Bacal was allowed to remain free on bond and was scheduled to be sentenced on September 27, 2006. See U.S. Attorney's Office Press Release (7/20/06).
 
Defendant Ian Alan Weiss pled guilty on July 19, 2006, to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.  Weiss was allowed to remain free on bond and was scheduled to be sentenced on September 27, 2006. See U.S. Attorney's Office Press Release (7/20/06). 
 
Update 8/1/2006
 
Jury Trial of Defendant Scott Rose on Counts One (conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud), Two (mail fraud), and Nine (wire fraud) of second superseding indictment commenced on August 1, 2006. 
 
Update 8/4/2006 

Jury convicted Defendant Scott Rose on Counts One (conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud), Two (mail fraud), and Nine (wire fraud) of second superseding indictment.  Rose was scheduled to be sentenced on October 17, 2006.

Update 8/21/2006 

Hearing held on Motion by Max Bacal to vacate arrest warrant.  Motion was denied and defendant surrendered to U.S. Marshal. 
 
Update 8/24/2006
 
Defendant Melvin Webman was sentenced to serve 102 months of imprisonment in a federal penitentiary with three years supervised release.  Webman was ordered to pay a special assessment of $100.  A hearing on the amount of restitution owed by Defendant Webman was scheduled for November 17, 2006.  The defendant was scheduled to report to the U.S. Marshal on September 7, 2006 at 2:00 p.m. See U.S. Attorney's Office Press Release (8/24/06). 
 
Update 9/14/2006 

Defendant Chester Potash was sentenced to serve 102 months of imprisonment in a federal penitentiary with three years supervised release.  Potash was ordered to pay a special assessment of $100.  A hearing on the amount of restitution owed by Defendant Potash was scheduled for November 17, 2006.  The defendant was scheduled to report to the U.S. Marshal on October 6, 2006 at 2:00 p.m.

October 12, 2006

On September 27, 2006, defendant Max Bacal was sentenced to serve 70 months of imprisonment in a federal penitentiary with three years supervised release. Bacal was ordered to pay a special assessment of $100. A hearing on the amount of restitution owed by Defendant Bacal was scheduled for November 17, 2006. The defendant is currently incarcerated. See US Attorney's Office Press Release (9/27/06).

On September 27, 2006, defendant Ian Alan Weiss was sentenced to serve 51 months of imprisonment in a federal penitentiary with three years supervised release. Weiss was ordered to pay a special assessment of $100. A hearing on the amount of restitution owed by Defendant Weiss was scheduled for November 17, 2006. The defendant will report to prison at a date to be determined. See US Attorney's Office Press Release (9/27/06).