News and Press Releases

Defendant Alleged to Have Defrauded Hundreds of People with Phony Investment Scheme

January 29, 2008

CHARLES NOLON BUSH, 68, of Port Orchard, Washington was ordered detained yesterday pending trial on an indictment charging him with Securities Fraud, thirteen counts of Wire Fraud, three counts of Mail Fraud, and fifteen counts of Money Laundering. BUSH was indicted by a federal grand jury in Seattle on August 9, 2006. The government alleged during the detention hearing on January 28, 2008, that during July 2002, facing the wrath of unhappy investors and aware of a federal investigation, BUSH fled the U.S. for France, and traveled on to Warsaw, Poland. The Department of Justice requested BUSH’s extradition from Poland on January 25, 2007. During August 2007, Polish authorities arrested BUSH, and though he fought extradition, BUSH was extradited from Poland and made his initial appearance on the indictment in U.S. District Court in Tacoma on January 22, 2008.

According to records filed in the case, BUSH is alleged to have taken millions of dollars in investor money in a fraudulent high-yield scheme between 1998 and 2002. In 1998, BUSH was a resident of Des Moines, Washington, and later Port Orchard, Washington, where he operated various investment entities such as Hulaman Management Services (HMS), Global Dominion Financial Services (GDFS), and Cornerstone Institute. BUSH accepted more than $30 million in investor funds. BUSH promised high yield investments, when in fact investor money was used to fund a lavish lifestyle, and to pay off previous investors in the form of a Ponzi scheme.

In order to lend legitimacy to the investment scheme, BUSH falsely represented his background, knowledge and experience, including that he previously had been a successful businessman. In addition, in July 1999, BUSH conducted business from “View Park Golf Estate,” a mansion on a private nine-hole golf course, and from a luxury suite at Safeco Field, while representing to investors that he personally had taken a vow of poverty. In order to further lend legitimacy to the scheme, BUSH informed investors that the investment opportunity he offered was exclusive, and that only those investors who qualified would be allowed to invest. BUSH recruited other individuals, referred to as “financial planners,” to act as his agents in promoting the scheme.

Towards the end of his scheme, BUSH represented that investor money was for Cabo San Quintin, the name given to a destination resort which developers planned to build on a peninsula located on the west coast of Baja California, Mexico. BUSH allegedly lied to investors about the project.

Wire Fraud, Mail Fraud, Securities Fraud and Money Laundering are punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.

The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The case in being investigated by the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), the United States Postal Inspection Service, the FBI, and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Arlen Storm and Special Assistant United States Attorney Tyler Letey.

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

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