5 December – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – R. Alexander A…

5 December – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Michael S. Clemens, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Division; Brian J. Wimpling, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, Miami Field Office; Henry Gutierrez, Inspector in Charge, United States Postal Inspection Service, Miami Division, announced today that on November 16, 2005, a federal grand jury sitting in Ft. Pierce, Florida, returned a sixteen (16) count Indictment charging defendants, Leonard P. Bogdan, Jr., John R. Brant, James P. Hollis, Linda G. Hollis, Gary St. Laurent and Vivian Castignani.

Bogdan, Brant, James P. Hollis, Linda G. Hollis, St. Laurent and Castignani were charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371 and 1341. Bogdan, Brant, St. Laurent and James P. Hollis were additionally charged with a scheme to defraud (mail fraud), in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1341 and 2. Bogdan was further charged with money laundering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(a)(1)(A)(I).

If convicted, Bogdan faces a maximum statutory penalty of twenty (20) years imprisonment and a $500,000 fine; Brant faces twenty (20) years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine; James P. Hollis faces twenty (20) years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine; Linda G. Hollis faces five (5) years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine; Gary St. Laurent faces twenty (20) years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine; and Vivian Castignani faces five (5) years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

As alleged in the Indictment, the defendants were associated with multiple related investment companies throughout St. Lucie County and Martin County. It is also alleged that the defendants designed various programs to attract individuals to invest in these programs and recruited sales representatives to solicit investors. It is further alleged that defendants made false representations and omitted material facts in convincing people to invest. Consequently, investors paid millions of dollars in one or more of these programs believing that their investments were successfully earning the returns that were promised.

Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division; the United States Postal Inspection Service; the Florida Department of Law Enforcement; the State Attorney’s Office and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Diana M. Acosta.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls . Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on .

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