New Charges Filed Against Wake Forest Investment Adviser Including Securities Fraud, Money Laundering And Wire Fraud and Wire Fraud
RALEIGH – United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced that a federal grand jury has returned an Indictment charging ANTHONY WAYNE MARCH, 48, of Wake Forest, North Carolina, with one count of Securities Fraud; three counts of Wire Fraud; one count of Bankruptcy Fraud; one count of Obstruction of Bankruptcy Case; three counts of False Oaths; and four counts of Money Laundering.
The Indictment alleges that the defendant, ANTHONY WAYNE MARCH (“MARCH”), operated the non-profit 501(c)(3) entity Asset Trader, located in Rolesville, NC, from in or between 2012 to 2015. Asset Trader was a purported non-profit tax-exempt company formerly known as CGA Exchange or The CGA Exchange, Inc. (herein “Asset Trader”). MARCH represented that Asset Trader offered educational services to professionals and taxpayers in the area of exit planning. Asset Trader’s stated educational mission allowed it to obtain classification as a 28 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization.
Asset Trader used its §501(c)(3) tax-exempt status to solicit tax-deductible donations in exchange for charitable gift annuities (“CGAs”) and to recruit referral sources to obtain assets from potential donors. Through Asset Trader, MARCH and his co-conspirators engaged and executed what is commonly known as a “Ponzi” scheme to defraud investors by inducing them to invest with Asset Trader.
During the course of the scheme, MARCH solicited at least 22 victims to invest over $8,100,000 in charitable gift annuities and other products offered by Asset Trader. MARCH and Asset Trader sold these securities to victims as retirement or exit planning vehicles classified as donations to MARCH’S § 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization. MARCH did not utilize any of the victim’s money for charitable purposes, rather, he spent the money on “Ponzi” payments, his own lavish lifestyle, and expenses of the scheme.
MARCH faces the following penalties on the charged offenses: For Securities Fraud, not more than 20 years imprisonment; for Wire Fraud, not more than 20 years imprisonment on each count; for Bankruptcy Fraud, not more than 5 years imprisonment for each count; for False Bankruptcy Declaration, not more than 5 years imprisonment; for Obstruction of Bankruptcy and Concealing Records, not more than 5 years imprisonment; for False Oaths, not more than 5 years; for Money Laundering, not more than 10 years. MARCH also faces over a $1 Million in fines, as well as further forfeiture of property.
An Indictment is an allegation of a crime. The defendant is presumed under the law to be innocent until proven guilty.
The Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI), and the North Carolina Secretary of State, Securities Division conducted the investigation in this matter. The Office of the U.S. Bankruptcy Administrator for the Eastern District of North Carolina provided substantial assistance. Assistant United States Attorney Ethan Ontjes, Special Assistant United States Attorney Brian Behr, and Special Assistant United States Attorney Kevin Harrington represent the United States.