Virginia Attorney Convicted Of Defrauding Local Construction Company Out Of More Than A Million Dollars
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Daniel R. Goodwin, an attorney from McLean, Virginia, has been convicted of defrauding a Laurel County construction company, in connection with a purported project to build a “green recycling center” in Manchester, Ky. The company, Elza Construction, LLC, lost $1.32 million upfront and incurred several million dollars more in excavation and site preparation costs, but nothing was ever built at the site.
Late Thursday, a federal jury in Frankfort delivered a guilty verdict on four counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The verdict came after a week of trial and a day-and-a-half of deliberation.
The evidence at trial established that from 2008 until at least 2011, a company called “Waste Not Technologies,” which also went by the name “Global Green Holdings,” made false promises to the city of Manchester and several would-be contractors who wanted to work on building a green recycling center that would turn municipal waste into useful products like railroad ties and insulation. David Bennett, the chief executive officer of Global Green Holdings, promised the project would create 1,400 jobs and bring in millions in revenue.
Part of this scheme was to require contractors like Elza Construction to send money to an escrow account in lieu of a traditional construction performance bond, with the promise that the money would be used to release financing for the project and that the money would be returned on a set schedule, typically within 3 to 4 months. Daniel Goodwin controlled the escrow account that received money from Elza Construction and others. Instead of following the terms of written agreements, he distributed the money among his co-conspirators and kept some of it for himself. The money was never returned to Elza Construction or any of the other contractors.
Carlton S. Shier, IV, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and Amy Hess, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, jointly announced the verdict. The case was investigated by the FBI and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gregory Rosenberg and Andrew Trimble prosecuted the case on behalf of the federal government.
Goodwin is scheduled to be sentenced on June 14, 2017. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years on each count of wire fraud, and a maximum of five years on the count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. However, any sentence would be imposed only after the Court has considered the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the applicable statutes.