FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC at 410-209-4885
November 27, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FINANCIAL WARFARE CLUB CO-FOUNDER SENTENCED
ON CHARGES OF MAIL FRAUD AND MONEY LAUNDERING
Church Members Defrauded of Over $1.3 Million
Greenbelt, Maryland – Teresa Hodge, age 43, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland was sentenced today to 87 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release for her conviction on charges of mail fraud, interstate transportation of money obtained by fraud and money laundering in connection with a company she co-founded known as the Financial Warfare Club (“FWC”), announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus also ordered Hodge to forfeit $1,358,209 -- the proceeds of the scheme to defraud.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein stated, "Investors should exercise caution before giving money to people who promise unrealistic returns. Marcus Dukes and Teresa Hodge defrauded many victims by making false promises to convince them to invest their money. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is ."
According to evidence presented at her trial earlier this year, Hodge and co-defendant Marcus D. Dukes, age 37, of Oak Park, Michigan defrauded potential investors in FWC by making numerous misrepresentations and omissions of material facts at presentations they made to African-American Pentecostal church congregations promoting membership in FWC.
Evidence showed that Hodge falsely represented that she was a very successful business woman and that she and co-defendant Marcus Dukes invested more than a million dollars of their own money into FWC. FWC members were promised “financial literacy” courses and grants of stock in three “infrastructure” companies prior to the initial public offerings. Individuals who joined FWC, however, never received any of these promised benefits. Based on those misrepresentations the evidence showed that FWC signed up in excess of 800 members and obtained from them over $1.3 million in investment funds. Hodge and Dukes paid themselves just under $300,000, used $150,000 to buy stock in another company for themselves and withdrew another $90,000 in cash. Also, they used $121,000 on travel expenses, including over $3,000 for limousine service, five star hotel stays, and dinners at Ruth Chris, Morton's, McCormick & Schmicks, B-Smiths and Legal Seafoods.
Dukes was convicted after trial on June 8, 2005 and was sentenced to 10 years in prison on November 22, 2005.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the investigative work performed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which was assisted by the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the United States Attorney’s Office. Mr. Rosenstein also thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bryan E. Foreman and Steven M. Dunne who are prosecuting the case.
This page last modifiedNovember 27, 2006