US v. American Entertainment Distributors, Inc., et al.

US v. American Entertainment Distributors, Inc, et. al.

Case No. 05-60203-CR-Martinez (S.D. Florida)
(U.S. v. Russell G. MacArthur, Jr., a/k/a “Thomas Stern,” James R. MacArthur, Evan J. Feig, Edmond Grigorian, Thomas R. Kling, Cesar Menendez, MichaelH. Menkes, and Karl Wagner)


Fraud Case:
Most Recent Update 3/24/06

U.S. v. Russell MacArthur, et. al, Case No. 05-60203-CR-Martinez (S.D. Florida):

8/12/05 Update:
On August 12, 2005, an indictment was unsealed that charges eight individuals with fraud-related charges in connection with American Entertainment Distributors, Inc. (“AED”). From November 2003 through September 2004, AED sold business opportunities involving DVD vending machines to consumers throughout the United States. The indictment contains the following charges:
• Russell G. MacArthur, Jr., an undisclosed founder of AED, is charged with one count of conspiracy, two counts of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud, and one count of criminal contempt.
• James R. MacArthur, the president of AED, is charged with one count of conspiracy, 10 counts of mail fraud, 13 counts of wire fraud, and one count of criminal contempt.
• Evan J. Feig, a closer for AED, is charged with one count of conspiracy, two counts of mail fraud, and three counts of wire fraud.
• Edmond Grigorian, a closer for AED, is charged with one count of conspiracy, two counts of mail fraud, and three counts of wire fraud.
• Thomas R. Kling, a fronter and closer for AED, is charged with one count of conspiracy, two counts of mail fraud, and two counts of wire fraud.
• Cesar Menendez, a closer for AED, is charged with one count of conspiracy, two counts of mail fraud, and two counts of wire fraud.
• Michael H. Menkes, a closer for AED, is charged with one count of conspiracy, two counts of mail fraud, and two counts of wire fraud.
• Karl Wagner, a reference for AED, is charged with one count of conspiracy and four counts of wire fraud.

All eight of the defendants were arrested by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, made their initial court appearances, and on August 12, 2005, were freed on bond pending trial.

Various defendants are scheduled to appear again at 10 a.m. on August 19, 2005, and at 10 a.m. on August 22, 2005 before the duty magistrate judge in Miami, Florida.

The criminal investigation is ongoing, and charges may be filed later against additional defendants.

Charges contained in the indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty it is to determine guilt or innocence.

The press release announcing this indictment may be seen at: USAO_Press_Release-08-12-05.

8/24/05 Update:

The trial is scheduled to begin on October 3, 2005, before the Honorable Jose E. Martinez in the Federal Courthouse at 301 N. Miami Avenue, Miami, Florida.  It is possible that the trial date will be postponed.

On August 17, 2005, a warrant for the arrest of Russell G. MacArthur, Jr., was issued for failure to comply with the Court's pre-trial order.  Mr. MacArthur is not currently in custody.

9/30/05 Update:

The trial has been rescheduled for March 6, 2006.  The trial is expected to last several weeks.  The trial will take place in Miami, Florida, before Judge Jose Martinez, 301 N. Miami Avenue, Third Floor, Courtroom 3.

11/23/05 Update:

No change in status.

1/26/06 Update:

The trial has been rescheduled for October 10, 2006. The trial is expected to last several weeks. The trial will take place in Miami, Florida, before Judge Jose Martinez, 301 N. Miami Ave., Third Floor, Courtroom 3.

3/7/06 Update:

A change of plea hearing for defendant Thomas R. Kling has been scheduled for 10 a.m. on March 22 before Judge Jose Martinez, 301 N. Miami Ave., Third Floor, Courtroom 3.

3/24/06 Update:

Defendant Thomas R. Kling pled guilty on March 22 to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.  Kling was ordered to report to prison on April 5, 2006.  Kling is scheduled to be sentenced at 1 p.m. on May 31, 2006, by Judge Jose Martinez, 301 N. Miami Ave., Third Floor, Courtroom 3.  The seven other defendants continue to be scheduled to go on trial before Judge Martinez starting on October 10, 2006.

 

 

 

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Topic: 
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Updated October 24, 2014