Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Former US Congressman From Oregon Indicted For Investment Fraud
Wester "Wes" S. Cooley, 76, of Palm Springs, California and the former US Congressman from Oregon's Second Congressional District, was indicted last week for allegedly perpetrating an investment fraud scheme that bilked investors out of at least $10 million. According to prosecutors, Cooley, together with George Tannous and De Elroy Beeler, Jr., solicited investors to purchase unregistered stock in Bidbay.com, Inc. also known as Auctiondiner.com, Inc. The conspirators had falsely represented to investors that the company was being purchased by EBay, Inc. The 7 count indictment alleges that Cooley laundered some $1.1 million of the illegally obtained money in 2002 and failed to declare the income on his tax returns. Specifically, Cooley is charged with six counts of concealment money-laundering and one count of subscribing to a false tax return. On May 19, 2008, co-conspirator Tannous pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of subscribing to a false tax return. On December, 8, 2008, Beeler pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of mail fraud. Cooley faces up to 38 years in prison.
We note that Cooley was previously convicted of making false statements about his military record in an Oregon voter guide. Read also about how Cooley misrepresented his military background to Oregon voters as outlined in Marquet International's Resume Liar's Club here.
Read the DOJ announcement here.