Friday, January 14, 2011
Department of Justice
United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee
KINGSPORT MAN ARRESTED FOR A MONEY LAUNDERING AND WIRE FRAUD SCHEME INVOLVING OVER $3,000,000
GREENEVILLE, Tenn.--A federal grand jury in Greeneville, Tenn., returned a three count indictment on Jan.12, 2-011 against Mark Edward Salyer, 46, of Kingsport, Tenn., for wire fraud and money laundering . Mark Edward Salyer appeared in court on Friday, January 14, 2011, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dennis H. Inman and entered a plea of not guilty to the charges in the indictment. He was released pending trial, which has been set for March 24, 2011, in U.S. District Court, in Greeneville, Tenn.
The indictment alleges that Salyer was employed as an account manager for MetLife Securities, Inc., in Kingsport, Tenn., responsible for the investment strategies for numerous IRA and brokerage accounts for clients. During this time, Salyer also organized businesses for development of real estate projects using entities such as Horizon Holdings, Salmar Investors Group, Eagle Rock Properties, Triple S LLC, The Reserve at English Mountain, and others.
The indictment further states that from June 2005 until approximately November 2007, Salyer forged the signature of clients on wire transfers, authorizing the transfer of some or all of a client’s funds into a bank account that was in fact owned by Salyer, causing MetLife Securities, Inc., to wire the funds. The indictment charges that Salyer wired approximately $3,569,000 in clients’ funds without their knowledge or permission.
During this same period of time Salyer would also approach clients and persuade them to liquidate their MetLife secured accounts and invest the money into other MetLife accounts in the names of one of his real estate entities. The indictment alleges that the accounts were actually personal accounts of Salyer. Salyer would wire the funds for use on his real estate ventures or to make payments to prior investors. Approximately $2,953,462.31 was invested by MetLife clients in this manner, according to the indictment.
MetLife Securities had no knowledge of Salyer’s fraud, and has compensated all the victims of his actions.
Additionally, Salyer is charged with conducting at least $3,077,846.63 in money laundering transactions with the proceeds of his scheme during this same period of time.
If convicted of wire fraud, Salyer faces a maximum term of 20 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, three years supervised release, and restitution. If convicted of money laundering, Salyer faces a maximum term of 10 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, three years supervised release and restitution.
William C. Killian, United States Attorney said, “We will work aggressively to combat financial fraud in the Eastern District of Tennessee. Crimes such as these not only take away the financial security of our citizens, but also have devastating effects on peoples’ lives.”
This indictment is the result of an investigation by IRS Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Secret Service, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy Harr will represent the United States.
Members of the public are reminded that an indictment constitutes only charges and that every person is presumed innocent until their guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.