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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 6, 2017

Retired Boston Police Detective Sentenced For His Role In An Investment Fraud Scheme

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. announced today that Daniel Rice, 53, of Stoughton, Massachusetts, who was convicted of wire fraud, was sentenced to three months home confinement, followed by two years supervised release, by U.S. Senior District Judge William M. Skretny.
           
Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott S. Allen Jr., who handled the case, stated that Rice, a retired City of Boston Police Detective, aided and abetted Michael Wilson, 30, formerly of Hamburg, NY, in defrauding investors by promising large returns on phantom investments through companies known as New Frontier. 

Rice pleaded guilty for his involvement in a deal brokered in January 2010, in which the defendant induced a Montana broker to wire $100,000 as part of a phony investment with Zodiak Capital, one of Wilson’s fraudulent New Frontier companies. Rice kept $40,000 before passing the remaining $60,000 on to a Wilson account at HSBC Bank in Buffalo.

In July 2010, Rice was involved in a second deal with Zodiak, and failed to tell the Montana broker about Zodiak’s connection to Wilson’s companies. As a result, on July 15 and 19, 2010, a total of $71,875 of a second investor’s money was wired into accounts in the Buffalo area controlled by Wilson. Such money was recovered after the government applied to have the receiving bank accounts frozen. The funds eventually were returned to the second investor, who lives in Utah.

In July of this year, Wilson was convicted of wire fraud for deals entered into by his fraudulent companies between 2008 and 2010.  In sum, Wilson attempted to defraud investors out of more than $10,000,000 by creating several phantom investment companies known collectively as New Frontier, which included Zodiak, Carnic LLC, Phantom Holdings and others, all purportedly located at 6553 Boston State Road in Hamburg. Wilson thereafter induced individuals and companies to invest in financial instruments with complex sounding names such as leveraging agreements that promised high-yield earnings and returns in short periods of time.

Rather than investing clients’ money, however, Wilson spent it on a variety of personal items, including $2,500,000 as a down payment for Boston State Road properties, automobiles - including a Hummer, a Corvette, two Land Rovers, and a Mercedes ML 500, artwork, and other items.  In January 2009, Wilson paid $1,800 to hire an actor from a talent agency to portray a person using the name of an alias (George Possiodis), which name and persona Wilson used during his scheme. Just prior to his indictment, Wilson fled to Canada and then Vietnam in order to evade law enforcement authorities. He was apprehended there and returned to the Western District of New York to face charges.

Wilson’s sentencing is scheduled for October 25, 2017, at 11 a.m. before Judge Skretny.

Rice’s sentence is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Adam S. Cohen, the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations Division, under the direction of James D. Robnett, Special Agent-in-Charge, New York Field Office, and the Boston Police Department Anti-Corruption Division.

Updated October 6, 2017