Owner Of Security Training Companies Pleads Guilty To Fraud Charges
Ricky Lee Coleman, Jr., 40, of Antioch, Tenn., pleaded guilty today to charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, and credit card fraud, announced David Rivera, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee. Coleman owned and operated International Executive Services LLC, Advancement Solutions LLC, and RLC Enterprises, all companies based in Hermitage and Antioch, Tennessee that defrauded thousands of military veterans and others seeking job training and job placement services.
At a plea hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Aleta A. Trauger, Coleman admitted that between January 2006 and March 2009, approximately 2,600 customers paid Coleman’s companies more than $900,000 in return for promises that they would be provided training in the areas of counter-terrorism, counter-assault, personal security or special operations. Coleman directed his employees to make false representations to customers and potential customers, including promises that those who paid a registration fee would be placed into a training class and would bear no additional costs beyond the registration fee. Customers were also promised that they would be paid during training and that they would be guaranteed employment after training.
Coleman also admitted that fewer than 20 of the thousands of customers who paid fees to his companies were ever assigned to attend training classes; many were asked to pay additional fees; and none were paid during training. Coleman also instructed his employees to make misrepresentations to customers who had paid for training in order to delay their attempts to seek refunds and to postpone their complaints, including sending letters falsely informing customers that they were enrolled in certain training academies, including fictitious academies that did not exist. In addition, Coleman fraudulently induced customers to pay for equipment that was supposedly required for the promised training classes.
Coleman also admitted that he spent the majority of funds paid by customers on personal expenses or on efforts to recruit new customers.
Coleman will be sentenced by Judge Trauger on August 11, 2014. He faces up to 20 years in prison for each of four counts of wire fraud, 20 years in prison for the count of mail fraud, and 15 years in prison for the count of credit card fraud. Coleman has also agreed to pay more than $900,000 restitution to victims of his offenses.
The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Metro-Nashville Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William F. Abely.