Boston - A Boston man was convicted today of conspiracy, securities fraud, aggravated identity theft, and other offenses.
James C. Fields, 45, was convicted by a jury sitting before United States District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock of conspiracy; securities fraud; false statements to company auditors; false statements in required SEC filings; wrongful certifications of SEC filings; aggravated identity theft; and money laundering. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 14, 2013. Fields faces up to five years in prison on the charge of conspiracy; up to 20 years in prison on the charge of securities fraud and on each of the multiple charges of making false statements to auditors and to the SEC; up to 10 years in prison on multiple charges of wrongful certifications of SEC filings; a two year mandatory minimum sentence on the charge of aggravated identity theft; and up to 10 years in prison for money laundering; to be followed by three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $5 million.
Starting in about 2003, Fields, the former acting Chief Financial Officer of Locateplus Holdings Corporation (Locateplus), and later acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Locateplus, engaged in several fraudulent schemes intended to artificially enhance Locateplus’s stated financial condition and thereby to deceive the investing public. Locateplus was a publicly-traded company, based in Beverly, Mass., that sold access to personal data and other information. Working with Jon Latorella, the former CEO of the company, Fields engaged in a series of fraudulent activities, including:
- Manipulating funds to make it appear that an outside entity, called “Andover Secure Resources,” was repaying Locateplus under the terms of a loan agreement, when in fact Andover was fake, the debt was fake, and the money came from Locateplus itself and other sources;
- Fabricating another entity, called “Omni Data Services,” as a supposed major customer of Locateplus, issuing multiple press releases in October and November 2004 announcing a fake contract with Omni Data; and manipulating funds to make it appear that Omni Data was paying Locateplus under the terms of the fake deal;
- Deceiving Locateplus’s independent accountants into believing that Andover and Omni Data were real, after which Fields presented the fake assets and revenue attributable to those fake entities in Locateplus’s SEC filings and certified that those filings were correct;
- Filing fraudulent paperwork with the SEC as part of a scheme to avoid having to register securities being sold by Paradigm Tactical Products, another company Latorella and Fields helped set up and which was used to fuel the Omni Data fraud; and
- Using the identity of a young man who died in Marblehead in 1985 to fabricate a supposed “President” for the fake company called Andover, and also using that identity as an accredited investor in Paradigm Tactical Products.
In March 2012, Latorella, the former CEO of Locateplus, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud, and was sentenced to five years in prison.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston; and Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew E. Lelling and Paul G. Levenson of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit. The U.S. Attorney’s Office also acknowledges the invaluable assistance it received from the Securities and Exchange Commission, Boston Regional Office in this case.