United Kingdom Man Sentenced to Prison For Two Separate Fraud Conspiracies
Defendant Pleaded Guilty in Cases Filed in Texas and the District of Columbia
HOUSTON - Marc T. Duchesne, 53, of London, was sentenced today to 97 months in federal prison on federal charges stemming from separate schemes involving financial fraud in Texas and the District of Columbia, announced Kenneth Magidson, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas, and Vincent H. Cohen Jr., Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.
Duchesne pleaded guilty May 11, 2015, to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in the in Texas case and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud in the unrelated case that had originated District of Columbia. Duchesne entered both pleas before the Honorable Reggie B. Walton in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
The plea, which was contingent upon the court’s approval, called for a prison sentence of 91 to 97 months. Judge Walton accepted the plea and sentenced Duchesne accordingly. In addition, as part of the plea agreement, Duchesne is to pay a total of $4,543,261 ($2,455,531 and $2,087,730 in the Texas and District of Columbia cases, respectively).
According to the government’s evidence in the Texas case, Duchesne and his co-conspirators engaged in a scheme from 2000 to 2005 that involved the selling of fraudulent liability insurance policies to apartment complexes, condominium associations, bars, restaurants and other businesses throughout the United States and Caribbean. One company that purchased the insurance was Shoreline Cruises Inc. which operated a 40-foot tour boat called the Ethan Allen on Lake George, N.Y. The tour boat operator discovered its insurance policy was fictitious after the Ethan Allen sank on Oct. 2, 2005, in a tragic accident that claimed the lives of 20 elderly tourists. The total loss was $2,455,531.
Four others have also been convicted in that case. Christopher Purser pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, while Edmund Benton, Malchus Irvin Boncamper and Robert Steve Mills pleaded to conspiracy to launder money. Purser received a sentence of 188 months, while Boncamper is serving a 97-month-term. Benton and Mills were both ordered to serve 120 months of federal imprisonment.
In the District of Columbia case, Duchesne engaged in a conspiracy from May 2002 through October 2002 to defraud investors by fraudulently creating Nationwide Capital Corporation (publicly traded as NCCN), and then artificially driving up its stock price. Unbeknownst to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or investors, Duchesne and his co-conspirators owned and controlled vast amounts of the stock. They employed tactics such as bid manipulation, false SEC filings and false press releases to effectuate their scheme. The National Association of Securities Dealers estimated losses to investors to be in excess of $2 million.
The case in Texas was investigated by Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation with assistance from Homeland Security Investigations and the Texas, New York and California Departments of Insurance. During this four-year investigation, the U.S. government also received extensive and valuable assistance from the governments of St. Kitts and Nevis and also St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Investigators also received valuable assistance from the governments of The Bahamas, Nicaragua, The Philippines and Australia. Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Lewis and Belinda Beek prosecuted the case.
The case in the District of Columbia was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the SEC. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mervin A. Bourne Jr. and Lionel André prosecuted that case. Assistance was provided by Paralegal Specialists Corinne Kleinman and Krishawn Graham.