Fraud Charges Filed Against Three Men for Asset and Income Concealment Scheme
Las Vegas, Nev. – The federal grand jury has charged three men, including a former Colorado lawyer and a Las Vegas accountant, with marketing and selling products designed to conceal income and assets from the IRS and other creditors, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
William S. Reed, Richard C. Neiswonger, and Wendell L. Waite, are each charged in a criminal indictment dated July 5, 2011, with conspiracy to defraud the United States. Neiswonger is also charged with multiple counts of mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. Reed is also charged with multiple counts of mail and wire fraud, conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering, aggravated identity theft and attempted tax evasion.
Waite was summoned, and is scheduled to appear before a federal magistrate judge in Las Vegas on Wednesday, July 13, 2011, at 3:00 p.m. Arrest warrants were issued for Reed and Neiswonger, but they have not yet been taken into custody.
The indictment alleges that from about 1998 to 2006, the defendants were involved in a scheme to enrich themselves through the sale of services and products which would assist persons in concealing their assets from the IRS and creditors. The indictment alleges that the men may have made over $60 million from the scheme.
Neiswonger was engaged in sales and marketing ventures and resided in Las Vegas; Reed was a lawyer in Colorado from about 1975 to 1997, owned at least one residence in Las Vegas, and wrote the book, Bulletproof Asset Protection; and Waite resided in Las Vegas and was a licensed certified public accountant in Nevada, California and Utah.
Through a number of business entities created around the name, Asset Protection Group, and collectively identified in the indictment as "APG," the defendants allegedly marketed and sold four inter-related products: corporations with disguised ownership; disguised ownership bank accounts; property liens creating the false impression that a client had little or no equity in a property; and a business opportunities training program, which taught them how to sell the fraudulent products for APG.
APG allegedly sold the business opportunity training program to at least 1,000 persons for about $10,000 each; created approximately 2,500 disguised ownership corporations in Nevada for $795 each; opened over 900 disguised ownership corporate bank accounts; and prepared over 400 fraudulent liens. Waite allegedly received over 180 corporate tax referrals from APG and prepared over 400 tax returns. During 2003 to 2006, APG allegedly received over $63 million in deposits and made over $62 million in withdrawals through one of its bank accounts, and sent over $11 million offshore.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) intervened in APG's operations in July 2006. In 2007, the United States District Court in the Eastern District of Missouri entered a permanent injunction against APG prohibiting it from marketing the business opportunity training program.
If convicted, defendant Neiswonger faces up to 290 years in prison and $4.25 million in fines; defendant Reed faces up to 364 years in prison and $7.75 million in fines; and defendant Waite faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The case is being investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney J. Gregory Damm.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.