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United States v. Robert William Mitchell et al

United States v. Robert William Mitchell et al

19-CR-26-J 

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

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CASE SUMMARY & COURT DOCUMENTS: 

65._2nd_superseding_indictment.pdf

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.

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CASE STATUS: 

On October 15, 2021, Judge Alan B. Johnson sentenced Robert Mitchell to 65 months as to Mail Fraud and 60 months as to Conspiracy to Commit Securities Fraud.  Both sentences are to be served concurrently.  Upon release from prison, the defendant will serve 3 years of supervised release.  The defendant was ordered to pay a $200 special assessment.  On January 13, 2022, the court entered an order for restitution in the amount of $1,213,578.54.  

On January 5, 2022, Judge Alan B. Johnson sentenced Ian Horn to 2 years of supervised probation for making a false statement to the grand jury, with the first 6 months of that sentence to be served in home confinement.  In addition, the defendant was ordered to complete 50 hours of community service and provide written notice to the court that he informed the Florida State Bar of his conviction and sentence, and will comply with any conditions Florida may impose regarding his bar license as a practicing attorney.  Horn was also ordered to pay a $100 special assessment and a $5,000 fine.

On August 22, 2022, Judge Alan B. Johnson sentenced Justin Herman to 60 months as to Conspiracy to Commit Securities Fraud, 63 months as to Securities Fraud and Aiding and Abetting Securities Fraud, and 63 months as to Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud. These sentences are to be served concurrently.  Herman was sentenced to 24 months for each Aggravated Identity Theft count. These sentences are to be served consecutive to the fraud sentences but concurrent to each other. Altogether, defendant Herman was sentenced to 87 months’ imprisonment. Upon release from prison, the defendant will serve 3 years of supervised release.  The defendant was ordered to pay a $700 special assessment. 

On August 22, 2022, Judge Alan B. Johnson sentenced Chuck Winters to 30 months as to Conspiracy to Commit Securities Fraud, 30 months as to Securities Fraud and Aiding and Abetting Securities Fraud, and 30 months as to Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud. These sentences are to be served concurrently.  Winters was sentenced to 24 months for each Aggravated Identity Theft count. These sentences are to be served consecutive to the fraud sentences but concurrent to each other. Altogether, defendant Herman was sentenced to 54 months’ imprisonment. Upon release from prison, the defendant will serve 3 years of supervised release.  The defendant was ordered to pay a $500 special assessment. 

In addition to the custodial sentences, the court entered an order for restitution in the amount of $158,878.00 to be paid joint and several by Defendants Herman and Winters and (with the exception of $20,000) Defendant Bob Mitchell.

 

Updated August 24, 2022

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