United States v. Robert William Mitchell et al
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
DEFENDANTS: Robert William Mitchell a/k/a Bob Mitchell, Justin Wallace Herman, Charles W. Winters Jr. a/k/a Chuck Winters, and Ian Horn
CASE SUMMARY & COURT DOCUMENTS:
The indictment charges two separate-but-related frauds: first, a scheme to defraud investors in a Wyoming natural-gas production venture; second, a conspiracy to pump and dump the common stock of NuTech Energy Resources Inc. The charges in the indictment are only allegations; therefore, the defendants are innocent until proven guilty.
Regarding the scheme to defraud investors, Defendant Bob Mitchell is charged in counts 1-12 with wire fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343, securities fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1348(1), and mail fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1341. As alleged in the indictment, Defendant Mitchell solicited investments he claimed would be used to create a publicly-traded, natural-gas production company in Wyoming. According to Mitchell, victim-investors would receive shares in this company that the investors could then sell on the public securities market. Instead of developing any company or safeguarding the investors’ money as promised, Mitchell used the money to pay his personal expenses and to acquire (through various false statements) free-trading shares in the company. Mitchell then sold these free-trading shares to enrich himself and related individuals – but not the victim-investors. Most victims of this scheme sent money directly to Mitchell or his company Bravo Two Zero Partners.
Regarding the pump-and-dump conspiracy, Defendants Mitchell, Justin Herman, Chuck Winters, and Ian Horn are charged in counts 13-15 with conspiracy in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371, securities fraud in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 78j(b), and wire fraud conspiracy in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349. As alleged in the indictment, the defendants took control of a publicly-traded company called EcoEmissions Solutions Inc. and changed its name to NuTech Energy Resources Inc. (NuTech). The defendants then used false statements and altered documents to acquire free-trading shares of NuTech. The defendants artificially inflated the price of NuTech shares by manipulative trading and by releasing to the public false and misleading information about NuTech’s business prospects. The defendants then sold their fraudulently-obtained free-trading shares to unwitting investors. Most victims of this pump-and-dump conspiracy purchased stock in NuTech (stock symbol NERG) between January 2015 and May 2016.
Finally, Defendants Herman and Winters are charged with aggravated identity theft in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A, because they allegedly possessed and used forged signatures to further the NuTech pump-and-dump conspiracy. These crimes are charged in counts 16-19. To the government’s knowledge, no one who purchased NuTech stock on the public market in 2015 or 2016 has been the victim of identity theft.
On May 25, 2021, Robert William Mitchell pled guilty to Mail Fraud and Conspiracy to Commit Securities Fraud. A sentencing hearing is currently scheduled for October 15, 2021 at 9:30 am. The hearing will take place in Courtroom No. 2 of the JC Mahoney Federal Building located in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
On October 8 , 2021, a federal jury in Cheyenne returned guilty verdicts against Justin Herman, Charles “Chuck” Winters, Jr., and Ian Horn. Herman and Winters were convicted of all charged fraud and identity theft crimes. Horn was acquitted of the charged fraud crimes but convicted of making a false statement to the grand jury during the investigation of the fraud. The defendants are scheduled to be sentenced on January 5, 2022: Justin Herman at 9:30 am; Chuck Winters at 1:30 pm; and Ian Horn at 3:30 pm. The hearings will take place in Courtroom No. 2 of the JC Mahoney Federal Building located in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
You are welcome to attend these proceedings; however, unless you have received a subpoena, your attendance is not required by the Court. If you plan on attending, prior to the scheduled hearing, be sure to verify the date and time by calling (307) 772-2124. If you are a victim of the charged offense(s) and wish to speak at sentencing, please call our office well in advance of the scheduled hearing date.
A United States Probation Officer will be preparing three reports for the Court detailing the impact this crime had on you financially, physically, and/or emotionally. You may submit an affidavit declaring your loss to the officer. For more information about this process, please visit https://www.wyp.uscourts.gov/.