Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Former Oregon Executives Plead Guilty To Money Laundering Charges

Bryant Edwin Behrmann, 63, and Larry “Buck” E. Hunter, 62, both former executives of Global Online Direct, Inc., a company they operated out of La Grande, Oregon, pleaded guilty earlier this month to money laundering charges in connection with a scheme to defraud "thousands" of investors in the company. According to the complaint, "From 2005 through 2007, defendants marketed Global as a company that purchased distressed inventory and then purportedly resold that inventory for profits through flea markets, street sales, retail storefronts, and internet auctions. Global’s website falsely promised investors that 'each dollar loaned to Global Online Depository is SECURED by tangible product inventories stored in our own warehouses.' Global’s website also promised investors referral fees and annual returns that could exceed 1,500%; however, according to the criminal information, those returns were fabricated by defendants." Prosecutors allege that Behrmann and Hunter took in over $40 million from investors with the scheme while only buying $3 million worth in assets during the course of the company's existence. More than 8,000 investors across North America were bilked, according to reports.

Read the story here and here.

Read the DOJ announcement here.

Read the original SEC litigation release here.

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