FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC at 410-209-4885
June 23, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OWNER OF ACCOUNTING FIRM INDICTED
ON WIRE FRAUD AND MONEY LAUNDERING CHARGES
Allegedly Defrauded Investors of $1.3 Million
BALTIMORE, Maryland -- A federal grand jury has indicted Wilkins McNair, Jr., age 48, of Ellicott City, Maryland on 23 charges of wire fraud and money laundering in connection with a scheme to defraud investors in an obesity treatment clinic and to obtain money from them through false representations and promises, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. The indictment, which was returned on June 21, 1006, was unsealed today after McNair’s arrest.
The indictment charges that McNair, a certified public accountant and the owner of Wilkins McNair, P.C., an accounting firm with offices formerly located at 201 North Charles Street in Baltimore City, provided accounting and other financial services to Bariatric Care Associates, LLC, (BCA), a corporation established by several investors, including a surgeon and cardiologist, who intended to open a clinic treating patients who suffered from morbid obesity. BCA’s principals sought assistance from McNair with regard to finding additional investors to provide start-up funding for BCA and in implementing their business plan. McNair was also supposed to provide accounting and financial services to BCA.
The original group of BCA investors incorporated themselves under the name M.O.M. Investment Group, Inc. (“M.O.M.”). The investors gave control of M.O.M. and its funds to McNair, who controlled M.O.M.’s bank accounts and appointed one of his family members as M.O.M.’s incorporator and registered agent. Between March 2004 and October 2005, five investors provided approximately $1.550 million to M.O.M. and/or McNair to finance BCA’s business operations. Each of the investors executed escrow agreements with Wilkins McNair, P.C. authorizing it to conduct certain transactions with their funds for the benefit of the M.O.M. Investment Group and BCA. The indictment charges that as escrow agent for the investors, McNair had the status of a fiduciary.
Contrary to his agreements with M.O.M.’s investors, however, the indictment charges that McNair proceeded to misappropriate approximately $1.3 million of the $1.550 million entrusted to his care by the M.O.M. investors. The indictment further charges that in order to cover up his theft of the funds, McNair provided several of the investors with “interest” payments in order to lull them into believing that their funds were being handled properly.
The maximum penalty on each of the indictment’s 12 wire fraud charges is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty on each of the indictment’s 11 money laundering charges is 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. McNair is scheduled for an initial appearance before United States Magistrate Judge Paul Grimm today at 3:15 p.m.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the investigative work performed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jonathan Biran and Jefferson M. Gray, who are prosecuting the case.
This page last modifiedJune 23, 2006