15 August – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Man Secured Commitments to Invest over $4.5 Million in a Fake Bank – Convicted of 12 Counts of Wire Fraud
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California announced that Matthew Hattabaugh was sentenced today to 5 years in prison and ordered to pay $87,850.00 in restitution for defrauding prospective investors by falsely representing that he owned a bank called Pacific American Capital Corporation in Oakland.
On March 30, Matthew Hattabaugh was convicted of twelve counts of wire fraud by a federal jury. The jury, after deliberating for five hours, found Mr. Hattabaugh guilty on all counts following a three week jury trial before U.S. District Court Judge Samuel Conti.
Mr. Hattabaugh, 32, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, was indicted by a federal grand jury on September 25, 2003. He was charged with devising a scheme to obtain money from prospective investors by falsely representing that he owned a bank. In the fall of 2002, he told investors that if they wired money to his “bank,” he would issue Certificates of Deposit to secure their investments. Mr. Hattabaugh further tried to negotiate fraudulent monetary instruments. As it turned out, Mr. Hattabaugh was running his business out of his apartment on Lake Merritt in Oakland. Mr. Hattabaugh secured promises to invest over $4.5 million in his fraudulent bank. Only after investors wired over $650,000 to Mr. Hattabaugh’s account, did one person detect the fraud. As a consequence, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was contacted.
After his conviction and while released on $200,000 bond, the United States moved to revoke Mr. Hattabaugh’s release based on probable cause to believe that he had committed new crimes while on release, including theft of mail, credit card fraud, and forgery. Hattabaugh did not contest the motion, and the court ordered him detained without bail pending today’s sentencing.
The sentence was handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Samuel Conti. Judge Conti also sentenced the defendant to a 3-year period of supervised release. The defendant remains in custody and will begin serving his sentence.
Susan Badger and Tina Hua are the Assistant U.S. Attorneys who prosecuted the case with the assistance of Linda Woo, Stefania Chin, and Ana Guerra. The sentence is the result of a two-and-a-half year investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Case #: CR-02-0409 SC.
A copy of this press release and related court filings may be found on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can .
Electronic court filings and further procedural and docket information are available at (click on the link for “to retrieve documents from the court”).
Judges’ calendars with schedules for upcoming court hearings can be viewed on the court’s website at www.cand.uscourts.gov.
All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney’s Office should be directed to Luke Macaulay at (415) 436-6757 or by email at [email protected] .