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Monday - December 12, 2005

WILMINGTON JURY CONVICTS TWO MEN OF FEDERAL
WIRE FRAUD, BANK FRAUD, AND MONEY LAUNDERING CHARGES

RALEIGH - United States Attorney Frank D. Whitney announced that a jury in Wilmington, N.C. has convicted DANIEL WATLINGTON and THOMAS PATRICK MCGLON of conspiracy, wire fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering. The jury returned its verdict on Thursday, December 8, 2005, following a three-week trial in federal court before Senior United States District Judge James C. Fox.

WATLINGTON, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, and MCGLON, of Atlanta, Georgia, were convicted of a conspiracy lasting almost ten years, in which they and others defrauded individuals seeking business loans out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in “up front” or “advance” fees. WATLINGTON and MCGLON induced victims to pay these fees through the use of fake and fraudulent business entities, including an entity MCGLON created called “Villei International Trust”, and by employing an attorney trust bank account, which gave victims a false sense of security about their fraudulently induced payments.

WATLINGTON and MCGLON were also convicted of crimes related to the use of counterfeit foreign financial instruments. They were convicted of conspiring to make false statements to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 1998 in connection with approximately $200 million in counterfeit Japanese government bonds. They were also convicted of a 2001 scheme to defraud a Philadelphia-area businessman with a $15 million counterfeit certificate of deposit. WATLINGTON was convicted of a 1999 bank fraud scheme involving counterfeit foreign bank checks.

In addition, WATLINGTON and MCGLON were convicted of laundering hundreds of thousands of dollars in proceeds of their fraud through an attorney trust bank account maintained by a co-defendant.

The jury found WATLINGTON and MCGLON guilty on all counts. WATLINGTON was convicted of a total of 32 counts, and MCGLON was convicted on each of the 23 counts against him.

In addition to WATLINGTON and MCGLON, four other individuals were charged in the case: GARY J. DE BELLONIA, of Henderson, Nevada; CLIFTON C. WEST, an attorney, of Fayetteville, North Carolina; WILLIAM A. MUWWAKKIL, of Fayetteville; and RICKEY L. JESSIE, also of Fayetteville. Each of these four defendants pled guilty to one or more of the charges against them prior to trial.

Sentencing of the defendants is scheduled for March, 2006. WATLINGTON, MCGLON, and DE BELLONIA are in custody pending that sentencing.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Clay C. Wheeler and Dennis M. Duffy prosecuted the case for the United States.

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.

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