Former Belmont Man Sentenced for Fraudulent Business
BOSTON – A former Belmont man who fled to Columbia in the early 1990s pleaded guilty and was sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court in Boston in connection with the fraudulent sales of non-existent rare scholarly books to universities, seminaries and churches.
Richard Stanley Haugh, 73, pleaded guilty and was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns to time served of 20 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $167,883. In 1995, Haugh was indicted on 30 counts mail fraud in connection with purported sales of rare and scholarly texts.
From November 1989 to November 1990, Haugh claimed to be a scholar in theology and the history of Eastern Christianity. He operated a business, Notable and Academic Books, from his home, and claimed to be the exclusive U.S. marketing representative for Buecher Vertriebs Anstalt (BVA), a Liechtenstein entity specializing in the rare and scholarly book business.
Haugh also used the aliases Heinz Reuchlin and Paul Briel to operate Editions Briel, a company that fraudulently claimed to possess for immediate shipment translations of early Christian works, multi-volume encyclopedic scholarly works and an Encyclopedia of Eastern Christianity that Haugh claimed to have authored, which did not, in fact, exist. Haugh mailed marketing brochures advertising the books to universities, schools of theology and individuals around the U.S. and in foreign countries. Although he required advance payment for the books, neither Haugh nor Editions Briel possessed the books or had any means of obtaining them. The scheme defrauded more than 150 universities, seminaries, churches and individuals around the country as well as in Canada, England, Australia and Japan. Among those defrauded were Smith College in Massachusetts, Cornell University, Bates College, University of Michigan and others.
By 1992, Haugh had become a fugitive, in part because he was awaiting trial in Middlesex County on child sexual assault charges. Haugh was located in Colombia in 2014 and was extradited to the U.S. in April 2014 on the federal charges. Immediately following his sentencing in federal court yesterday, Haugh was turned over to the custody of the Belmont Police for prosecution on the pending sexual assault charges in Middlesex County.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and James V. Buthorn, Acting Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, made the announcement today. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Victor A. Wild and Ryan M. DiSantis of Ortiz's Criminal Division.