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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Georgia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 15, 2016

Internet Scammer Convicted of Telemarketing Fraud and Obstruction of Justice

SAVANNAH, GA: On August 12, 2016, after a week-long trial before U.S. District Court Judge William T. Moore, Jr., a federal jury convicted conman Stacy Paul Waddell, 44, of wire fraud, sale of counterfeit coins, and tampering with official proceedings.

According to the evidence presented at trial, Waddell and others acting at his direction littered the internet with advertisements offering to sell gold and silver coins at deeply discounted prices.  Waddell received responses from dozens of people throughout the United States and abroad.  Waddell then lied about availability of the coins and falsely promised quick delivery times to get customers to wire transfer money into bank accounts controlled by Waddell.  After those payments were received, Waddell pocketed his victims’ funds and used them to gamble at casinos and purchase expensive clothes and other accessories.  Waddell further lied to his victims when they would ask about the status of their unfulfilled coin orders.  Additionally, Waddell knowingly sold counterfeit gold coins to at least one of his victims and then attempted to destroy those coins after a federal grand jury indicted him for selling fake gold.  According to a forensic analysis, Waddell bilked his victims out of no less than $600,000 between 2013 and 2015.

Waddell is a serial scam artist whose criminal history in the Savannah area — much of which involves offenses of deceit and deception — stretches back to the late 1980s.  In 1991, Waddell checks totaling nearly $5,000 on a closed account.  In 1992, he staged multiple car accidents and falsely reported his car to have been stolen in order to obtain approximately $36,000 through fraudulent insurance claims.  On more than a dozen occasions in 1993, Waddell forged checks totaling more than $7,300.  In 1995, Waddell shoplifted electronic equipment, stole a U-Haul truck, and fled to Nevada before the U.S. Marshals Service located him eight months later.  While serving his prison sentence for theft of the U-Haul vehicle, Waddell prepared and submitted false tax returns to the IRS using the names and personal identification information of other inmates.  For that conduct, Waddell was convicted in 2004 of making false claims to a federal agency.  Following his release from prison, Waddell quickly violated the terms of his supervision, and the court imposed a maximum sentence.  The gold and silver coin scheme that led to his most recent conviction was launched shortly after Waddell regained his liberty in 2011.

On each of the four telemarketing-related wire fraud counts, Waddell faces a term of imprisonment of up to 25 years, a fine of up to $250,000, and three years of supervised release.  He also faces 20 years in prison for obstructing justice and 15 years of imprisonment for selling counterfeit coins.  There is no parole in the federal system.

United States Attorney Edward J. Tarver stated, “For more than two decades, Stacy Waddell preyed on hardworking, innocent people in the Southern District of Georgia and in other judicial jurisdictions.  Through his latest scam, Waddell used the internet and fake coins to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars, much of which he spent on himself and lost gambling at various casinos. Predators like Waddell should be taken off of the streets. The Department of Justice and this U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue its work with our federal and state law enforcement partners to ensure that happens.” 

The United States Secret Service and United States Postal Inspection Service investigated the case with assistance from the Pooler Police Department and Armstrong State University Police Department Cyber Forensics Division.  Assistant United States Attorneys Brian T. Rafferty and Theodore S. Hertzberg prosecuted the case and represented the United States at trial.  For additional information, please contact First Assistant United States Attorney James D. Durham at (912) 201-2547.

Updated August 15, 2016