News and Press Releases


April 22, 2005

DAVID K. BUCHANAN, 37, of Vancouver, Washington was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 57 months in prison and three years of supervised release for Wire Fraud. The scheme cheated dozens of victims out of more than $5 million. At the sentencing Judge Ronald B. Leighton noted that BUCHANAN "has wrought a far greater penalty among his friends and associates than the mere value of the money he took."

BUCHANAN pleaded guilty in January 2005, admitting that from December, 1999, through November, 2004, he obtained millions of dollars from investors who were told they were investing in domestic and overseas investment programs that would yield extraordinary returns. In fact, there were no investments. BUCHANAN used the money for his own expenses, including purchasing a Jaguar automobile, buying expensive jewelry, paying for his lavish wedding reception, buying real estate for himself and his family, and making a down payment on a golf course in Camas, Washington.

BUCHANAN mislead investors about his background and the nature of the alleged investments. He told numerous people he had become wealthy playing football for the NFL's Dallas Cowboys, that he was or had been affiliated with the Federal Reserve Bank, that he had earned substantial returns for investors through "trading programs" affiliated with the Federal Reserve Bank and private banks, and that he had substantial real estate holdings. BUCHANAN told investors they would enjoy very high returns within a very short time frame. The investments were fictitious. BUCHANAN never played for the Dallas Cowboys or any other NFL team.

At today's sentencing two victims told the court how BUCHANAN had taken their life savings – forcing them to sell their homes or return to work. "It took us 45 years of saving for our retirement," Billie Selby told the Judge, "It took him just 10 days to take it." Another victim told the court he would never be able to accumulate in his lifetime what BUCHANAN had taken from him.

In asking for a sentence at the top of the range provided for by the United States Sentencing Guidelines, prosecutors pointed out that even after he was first arrested and released on bond in September of 2004, BUCHANAN continued to solicit investors. These investments, like many others, occurred after the State of Washington Department of Financial Institutions had issued a Cease and Desist order directing BUCHANAN to stop selling investments. As a result of BUCHANAN's solicitation of investors while he was on bond, the Court placed him into custody on December 21, 2004. BUCHANAN was brought to the sentencing proceeding in shackles by United States Marshals.

Investigators calculate BUCHANAN's total fraud at $5.7 million. BUCHANAN is currently involved in a bankruptcy proceeding, so the total amount of restitution he owes will be set at a later date.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions, Securities Division. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey B. Coopersmith.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington at (206) 553-4110.

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