Skip to main content
Press Release

Myrtle Beach Attorney Sentenced for Money Laundering

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina

Contact Person: Bill Day (803) 929-3000

Columbia, South Carolina---- United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that  Larkin Thaddeus Viers, age 37, of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina sentenced today in federal court in Florence, South Carolina, for money laundering, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1957.  United States District Judge Bruce Howe Hendricks of Florence sentenced Viers to 37 months imprisonment followed by 3 years supervised release and payment of $875,000.00 in restitution.

Evidence presented at the guilty plea hearing established that Marlon Weaver was the president and owner of Weaver Company, Inc., a construction company which was located in Conway, SC.  In 2008, the company was awarded a contract with the South Carolina Department of Transportation [SCDOT], to perform paving and asphalt operations on a road construction project on Interstate 95.  Weaver Co. was required to supply a performance and payment bond and general indemnity agreement in order to work on the project.  SafeCo Insurance Company of America sold, wrote and acted as a surety on the bond.  SafeCo required that Marlon Weaver agree to reimburse them if SafeCo suffered any losses as a result of issuing bonds to the company. Weaver provided a financial statement reflecting assets that SafeCo would be entitled to if Weaver Co. caused losses to SafeCo.  Reflected on this financial statement were Weaver’s investment in a company, Gold & Silver, LLC, and his one-fifth interest in Bucks Port Marina held by Weaver Five, LLC.

On November 20, 2009, the contractor for the SCDOT informed Weaver and SafeCo that it declared Weaver Co. in default of the contract under the bond resulting in SafeCo being required to pay approximately $6,000,000.00 to SCDOT.  Weaver back-dated documents to make it appear that he had transferred his interest in the Gold and Silver, LLC and Bucks Port Marina to his daughters on September 1, 2009, prior to defaulting on the project.  In fact, Weaver retained control of the assets at all times.  Weaver mailed these back-dated, fraudulent documents to SafeCo’s attorney, who was representing the insurance company in a civil suit against Marlon Weaver and others.  These documents were received by SafeCo on or about December 18, 2009.

Gold & Silver, LLC, was an investment business owned and operated by Archie Evans, which invested in the futures market.  To make it appear that Weaver had transferred his investment in Gold & Silver to his daughter prior to SafeCo incurring losses, Evans agreed to back-date documents to reflect that Weaver’s investment was transferred to the daughter on September 1, 2009. These documents were also mailed to SafeCo’s attorney on April 26, 2010.

Weaver hired Thad Viers to represent him in the civil case filed against him by SafeCo.  Weaver informed Viers that he was trying to hide his assets from SafeCo.  On December 1, 2009, Weaver and Viers entered into a written legal fee/service contract which reflects a nonrefundable retainer fee of $500,000.  Weaver gave Viers $500,000 in the form of two cashier’s checks, one in the amount of $490,000 and the other in the amount of $10,000.  Only the $10,000 check was payment for the retainer fee.  The $490,000 was money that Weaver was attempting to conceal from SafeCo.  The source of the $500,000 was funds that Weaver had pulled out of Weaver Company to prevent SafeCo from getting it.  Viers deposited the $490,000 cashier’s check into his operating account at Anderson Brothers Bank on December 4, 2009, then immediately wrote a check to Archie Evans Ministries for $400,000.  The $400,000 was additional money that Weaver was secretly investing with Evans’ company, Gold & Silver.  The difference of $90,000, Viers was to deposit into his campaign account.  After earning approximately $30,000 in legal fees, Viers returned the remainder of the funds to Weaver.

On January 21, 2010, BEJ, LLC, was created by Viers to conceal the proceeds from the sale of Weaver’s interest in the marina he had previously pledged as collateral to SafeCo.  The marina was sold in February 2010 and Weaver received approximately $501,000.  Weaver laundered these funds through several bank accounts to include a First Citizens bank account set up in the name BEJ, LLC.  Between May 18, 2010 and July 22, 2010, Weaver withdrew $400,000 from the BEJ, LLC. account of which approximately $375,000 was converted to cashier’s checks and cashed.  This cash was given to Archie Evans in increments which Evans structured into his bank accounts in increments of less than $10,000.00, to avoid bank filings.

In January 2011, Viers set up a trust account at the First Citizens Bank, at Weaver’s request, and agreed to have funds wired or deposited into the account by Evans.  Once the funds were credited to the account, Viers contacted the bank to authorize withdrawal of the funds by Weaver.  Each withdrawal authorized by Viers was for $10,000 or more.  Weaver withdrew the funds purchasing numerous cashier’s checks just under the $10,001 bank reporting requirement, ranging from $7,500 to $9,500.  Weaver would then cash these cashier’s checks at various branches and give the currency back to Archie Evans, in increments of $25,000 to $50,000, so that Evans could structure deposits into his bank accounts. This cycle of banking activity was repeated numerous times.  Between 1/21/2011 and 10/3/2011, $692,000 was credited to Vier’s First Citizen’s Trust account on behalf of Weaver which was sourced by Evans’ bank account.  Of the amount credited, 375,000 was proceeds from the sale of the marina.

During the course of this conspiracy, Viers either knew the funds involved were proceeds of some criminal activity, or he was aware of a high probability the funds were the proceeds of some criminal activity and he deliberately avoided learning of the activity, i.e. he deliberately made himself blind to that fact. The funds involved were proceeds of criminal activity as Weaver committed mail fraud when he mailed SafeCo’s attorney back-dated documents concerning the sale of the marina and his investments with Gold & Silver.

Evans previously pled guilty for his involvement in the Ponzi scheme related to this case and was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment. Weaver pled guilty to conspiracy to launder money and was sentenced to 1 year imprisonment.

The case was investigated by agents of the Internal Revenue Service and the United States Secret Service.  Assistant United States Attorney William E. Day, II of the Columbia office is prosecuting the case.

#####

Updated October 20, 2015

Topic
Financial Fraud