SAN DIEGO REAL ESTATE DEVELOPER, MARK HOFMANN, CHARGED WITH WIRE FRAUD
MARK HOFMANN, age 55, a real estate developer from San Diego, California was charged in a one-count Bill of Information with wire fraud, announced United States Attorney Dana J. Boente.
According to the Bill of Information, in late 2008, HOFMANN sought investors to invest approximately $3,000,000 for the acquisition of an approximately five-acre tract of land adjacent to the Lakeview Regional Medical Center in Covington, Louisiana and for the development of two office buildings on that land. Ultimately, HOFMANN and his partner convinced Bolivar Investors Group, L.L.C., an investment group organized by members of the Crescent River Port Pilots’ Association, to invest the money. Together, HOFMANN, his partner, and Bolivar, created a new entity, “Newtrac West,” to facilitate the purchase and development in February 2009. Shortly thereafter, HOFMANN and his partner opened a bank account in the name of Newtrac West for which only they were listed as signatories. Between January 20, 2009, and July 14, 2009, Bolivar made six deposits, including five by wire, into the Newtrac West bank account, totaling approximately $3,000,000.
The Bill of Information further alleges that between January 26, 2009, and December 14, 2009, on at least twenty-four occasions, HOFMANN withdrew funds from the account without authorization and used them to repay his personal expenses and debts apart from and unrelated to the purchase or development of the land in Covington. In total, HOFMANN misappropriated approximately $404,000. Subsequently, HOFMANN and his partner created doctored bank statements based on the real bank statements for the Newtrac West account that were designed to hide the unauthorized withdrawal of funds for HOFMANN’S personal use, and, further, to deceive representatives of Bolivar into believing that Newtrac West was in excellent financial condition. HOFMANN provided these fraudulent statements to Bolivar’s representatives regularly.
If convicted, HOFMANN faces a maximum term of imprisonment of not more than 20 years, followed by up to 3 years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.
United States Attorney Boente reiterated that the 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 the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jordan Ginsberg.
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud from a person or an organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of storm victims or have knowledge of waste, abuse, or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud toll free at: (866) 720-5721. You can also fax information to: (225) 334-4707 or e-mail it to: firstname.lastname@example.org