OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
JOHN F. WOOD
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
NOVEMBER 16, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONEY LAUNDERING CHARGES ADDED TO INVESTMENT FRAUD
INDICTMENT AGAINST FORMER COLUMBIA MEN
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that two former Columbia, Mo., men who were indicted last year for participating in an investment fraud conspiracy have been charged by a federal grand jury with money laundering.
William Colwell McNeely, 76, of Millersburg, Mo., and Craig F. Swoboda, 72, of Lake Ozark, Mo., were charged in a 16-count superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Jefferson City. Today’s indictment replaces a Sept. 8, 2007, federal indictment and includes allegations of additional conduct by Swoboda in furtherance of the conspiracy, as well as allegations of money laundering by both McNeely and Swoboda.
McNeely and Swoboda were residents of Columbia at the time of the alleged conspiracy. McNeely was president and chief operating officer of United Management, Inc. (UMI). Swoboda was the chief executive officer of UMI.
According to the indictment, McNeely put in place an organization to solicit investments from persons, and sold to these persons what purported to be opportunities to purchase and participate in the development of vending machine-related inventions. Although investors were told that the product was ready for mass production, the indictment alleges, there were financial and technical setbacks that caused substantial delays and prevented the production and marketing of the product. McNeely and Swoboda allegedly used investor money for their own personal use and gain.
Today’s superseding indictment also charges McNeely with three counts of money laundering and charges Swoboda with six counts of money laundering, alleging that they engaged in financial transactions that involved the proceeds of mail fraud and wire fraud. The superseding indictment also alleges that McNeely and Swoboda participated in a conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Count One of the federal indictment alleges that McNeely and Swoboda participated in a conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud from December 1997 through February 2006. McNeely and Swoboda allegedly used telephone, facsimile, Federal Express, U.S. mail and e-mail in order to conduct business, as well as instructing investors to wire funds to bank accounts, as part of the scheme to defraud investors.
McNeely and Swoboda allegedly made false and misleading statements in order to attract persons to invest, such as false claims that Swoboda was a former judge and an attorney, who took an active role in the management of legal and financial matters relating to UMI, and that Swoboda had significant experience with startup companies and in taking companies public. McNeely and Swoboda allegedly omitted certain material facts that would have discouraged potential investors, such as that McNeely and UMI were involved in pending lawsuits with existing investors and that few investors had gotten their investment back without filing a lawsuit.
McNeely and Swoboda allegedly made false and misleading statements about the extent of their and UMI’s financial worth, in order to attract persons to invest, including:
* that McNeely and Swoboda – and their families – had each invested large sums of money toward the development of vending machine-related inventions;
* that UMI was worth $150 million;
* that a major bottler wanted to buy UMI for $1 per share; and
* that investors could get their money back if they were not happy.
McNeely is also charged with three counts of mail fraud related to checks mailed by investors and to stock certificates mailed by McNeely, as well as two counts of wire fraud related to e-mails sent by McNeely to investors.
Wood cautioned that the charges contained in the indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Lynn. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Missouri Secretary of State and the Missouri Attorney General’s Office.
This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at