Contractor Pleads Guilty to Securities and Commodities Fraud
DALLAS — On the day his trial was to begin in federal court in Dallas, Brian Marshall, 49, of Tampa, Fla., pleaded guilty to one count of securities and commodities fraud, stemming from his scheme to defraud investors in connection with the sale of Home Solutions of America, Inc. stock, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
Marshall was a vice-president and a member of the board of Home Solutions of America, Inc., a NASDAQ-traded company that was based in Dallas before it relocated to New Orleans, La. in July 2008. Home Solutions was in the business of construction and restoration, including new construction and restoration following natural disasters such as hurricanes. Home Solutions conducted some of its business through its largest subsidiary, Fireline Restoration, Inc., which was based in Tampa. Marshall was the president of Fireline. Frank J. Fradella of Covington, Louisiana, who was the CEO of Home Solutions, pleaded guilty to securities fraud in the Eastern District of Louisiana, and is awaiting sentencing.
In plea documents filed last week, Marshall admitted that between December 2006 and August 15, 2007, he ran a scheme to defraud public investors by fabricating false and fictitious revenue, operating income and costs in connection with a series of construction contracts in Tampa. Marshall caused Fireline to enter into construction contracts with private companies that he wholly or partially owned, including a $4 million contract for the construction of his ersonal residence.
Marshall admitted that he also caused Fireline to record revenue and income from the construction contracts that were false, because little, if any, work had actually been performed. Even though Marshall knew that the revenue, costs and income on the construction projects were false, he caused Home Solutions to report it to public investors in Home Solutions’ 2Q 2007 10-Q.
According to the plea agreement filed, if the Court accepts the plea, the parties agree that a sentence of no more than 60 months is the appropriate custody disposition of Marshall’s case. A sentencing date was not set.
Today’s conviction is part of efforts underway by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF), which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorney’s offices and state and local partners, it is the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants, including more than 2,900 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI and the FDIC Office of Inspector General, with substantial assistance from the Enforcement Division staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Assistant U.S. Attorneys J. Nicholas Bunch and Andrew Wirmani are in charge of the prosecution.
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