D O J Seal
U.S. Department of Justice


United States Attorney James T. Jacks
Northern District of Texas

 

 

 
 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA INQUIRIES: KATHY COLVIN

TUESDAY, MARCH 23, 2010
http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txn/

 

 

PHONE: (214)659-8600

 

 

FEDERAL GRAND JURY INDICTS AMARILLO MAN FOR
RUNNING A BOGUS INVESTMENT SCHEME CALLED “TREASURY GATE”

Fraud Involved Nearly 2000 Victims


AMARILLO
, Texas — A federal grand jury in Amarillo, Texas, returned a 39-count indictment today charging Tommy Lee Buckley, 63, with mail fraud — frauds and swindles, related to his operation of a fraudulent “investment” scheme, announced U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. Buckley, of Amarillo, is expected to surrender to federal authorities.

According to the indictment, Green Light (GL) and Aragon Tontine Green Light (ATGL) were names that Buckley gave to a group of people who supported his efforts to redeem supposed financial instruments that Buckley described as “certificates of obligations.” Some of these certificates were drawn on the U.S. Treasury and made payable to heads of state in foreign countries, and some were drawn on foreign financial institutions. In fact, in 1991, Buckley attempted to obtain a receipt from the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas for a counterfeit certificate, in the amount of $33 billion, payable to “Sadam Husein.”

GL and ATGL had approximately 1800 members. “Treasury Gate” was the name that Buckley gave to his mission to redeem the certificates.

The indictment alleges that from January 1990 until the date of this indictment, Buckley ran a scheme to defraud and obtain money from other persons by convincing them that he possessed genuine financial instruments that he could redeem for trillions of dollars, and that he would share the proceeds from the certificates with GL/ATGL members. Buckley, however, was well aware that the certificates were not genuine.

As early as 1990, Buckley solicited people to join GL/ATGL by advertising in newspapers low interest loans which would be funded by the certificates. Buckley also conducted seminars to solicit people to join GL/ATGL. He charged a $50 to $1000 “up front fee” to most persons who joined GL/ATGL. Buckley represented that the certificates were g
enuine and worth “trillions of dollars” and that GL/ATGL members would share in the proceeds when he redeemed them.

He divided GL/ATGL into two groups ---- the “actives” and the “inactives.” The “actives” were persons who purchased a periodic, usually monthly, newsletter that Buckley penned, which cost between $14 and $17 per issue. Buckley repeatedly told the “actives” that they would receive a greater share of the proceeds than the “inactives,” who did not purchase the newsletter. In his newsletter he described his purported efforts to redeem the certificates and enticed the GL/ATGL members into continuing to send their money for the next newsletter by repeatedly representing that the redemption of the certificates was imminent.

Between 2004 and May 2008, Buckley deposited approximately $2.8 million, consisting of monthly checks and money orders sent to Buckley by GL/ATGL members, into his business account at a bank in Amarillo. He paid his wife $2500 per month out of monies he received from GT/ATGL members.

Buckley appropriated funds received from GL/ATGL members for his own use. As his only source of income, he used these GL/ATGL funds to maintain a lavish and leisurely lifestyle for himself, his wife and his extended family, including country club memberships at La Poloma Golf Club and Amarillo Country Club, Mercedes-Benz and BMW automobiles and high-end residences.

An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. However, if convicted, each of the 39 counts carries a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The case is being investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Vicki Lamberson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Amarillo.

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