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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Minnesota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Colin Chisholm Pleads Guilty to Stealing More Than $2 Million From Investors in Television Network Startup

United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger announced the guilty plea of COLIN ALEXANDER CHISHOLM, 67, for stealing more than $2.1 million from investors by lying to them about an investment in a purported television network startup. The defendant pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. District Chief Judge John R. Tunheim in Minneapolis, Minn.  

“Colin Chisholm is now facing the consequences for his long trail of lies as he ripped people off,” said Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. “Chisholm lied to prospective investors about his personal and professional background. But most damaging for his victims, he lied about what he was doing with the money they had entrusted to him. Stopping this investment scam and bringing this white-collar criminal to justice demonstrate the strong partnership between the Commerce Fraud Bureau and federal authorities.”

“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service will continue to protect the integrity of the US Mail and aggressively investigate individuals such as Colin Chisholm who use the mail to defraud individuals or businesses of money and property,” said Craig Goldberg, Inspector in Charge of the Denver Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service, which covers Minnesota.

According to the defendant’s guilty plea, since 2004, CHISHOM used The Caribbean Television Network, Inc., (TCN) an entity he formed purportedly to broadcast satellite television throughout the Caribbean, to solicit funds from investors. Throughout the scheme, CHISHOLM told investors that TCN was on the verge of securing between $20 million and $100 million in funding to begin broadcasting, and that their investment would be used as interim financing for TCN.

According to the defendant’s guilty plea, as part of his scheme to obtain money from potential investors, CHISHOLM lied to them about the progress and viability of the main funding sources for TCN.

According to documents filed in court, CHISHOLM also lied to investors about his personal background. He told some investors that he was the grandson of Hugh J. Chisholm, Jr., and the son of William Chisholm, of the Oxford Paper Company. In falsely claiming this family lineage, CHISHOLM gave the false impression that he came from considerable family wealth. CHISHOLM also claimed to be a Scottish Chieftain of the Clan Chisholm and claimed to have close personal ties to members of the Bush family, specifically to Prescott S. Bush, Jr., the deceased brother of former President George H.W. Bush. CHISHOLM further claimed to provide scholarships to Bowdoin College, where Hugh J. Chisholm, Jr., received an honorary degree.

According to his guilty plea, CHISHOLM also lied about his professional background, most notably making the claim to potential investors that he had worked as Vice President for Turner Program Services, to have a relationship with Ted Turner, and to have participated in the development and launch of CNN and CNN Headline News, including writing the business plan for CNN.

According to his guilty plea, CHISOLM stole a total of more than $2.1 million from at least 38 investors.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Minnesota Department of Commerce Fraud Bureau and the United States Postal Inspection Service.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office thanked the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office for its substantial assistance in this case.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lola Velazquez-Aguilu.


Defendant Information:

COLIN ALEXANDER CHISHOLM, 67
Minneapolis, Minn.

Convicted:
• Mail fraud, 1 count

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated January 25, 2017