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Wednesday - January 26, 2005


RALEIGH - United States Attorney Frank D. Whitney today announced a 30-count Indictment charging six men with what the Indictment alleges is "an extensive scheme to defraud individuals seeking business loans out of hundreds of thousands of dollars." The six men charged are: DANIEL WATLINGTON, 54, of Linden, N. C.;WILLIAM A. MUWWAKKIL, 62, of Fayetteville, N. C.; RICKEY L. JESSIE, 57, of Fayetteville, N. C.; CLIFTON C. WEST, 48, of Fayetteville, N. C.; GARY J. DE BELLONIA, 60, of Henderson, Nevada; and THOMAS PATRICK MCGLON, 69, of Atlanta, Georgia.

The Indictment was returned by a federal grand jury in Greenville on January 13, 2005, and was unsealed on January 24, 2005. The specific charges in the Indictment are conspiracy, wire fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering.

The Indictment charges that, from at least May, 1996, to the present, the defendants have participated in a conspiracy to defraud individuals seeking business loans. The essence of the scheme, according to the Indictment, includes the defendants' use of false and misleading statements, both spoken and in documents,

to trick victims into believing (1) that the defendants were capable of helping them obtain business loans, typically loans in excess of one million dollars; and (2) that all or nearly all of the significant up-front fees paid by the individuals in anticipation of receiving such loans would be returned if no loan was obtained.

The Indictment also charges that various specific methods were used as part of the scheme, including the use of fake and fraudulent business entities (such as "Villei International"); the use of fake and fraudulent identities; the use of an attorney trust account; and the use of counterfeit foreign financial instruments.

The Indictment also provides notice that the United States is seeking forfeiture of property from the defendants, including all property constituting or derived from fraud proceeds. A penalty sheet for each of the charges is attached. WATLINGTON is charged in Counts 1-30; MUWWAKKIL is charged in Counts 1-15; JESSIE is charged in Counts 1-10; and WEST, BELLONIA, and McGLON are charged in Counts 1-10 and 16-30.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Clay Wheeler is in charge of the prosecution.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A trial date has not been set.


News releases are available on the U.S. Attorney's web page at within 48 hours of release.


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