Man Secured Commitments to Invest over $4.5 Million in a Fake Bank – Convicted of 12 Counts of Wire Fraud
30 March 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California announced that Matthew Hattabaugh was convicted of twelve counts of wire fraud by a federal jury today. The jury, after deliberating five hours, found that Mr. Hattabaugh had schemed to defraud prospective investors by falsely representing that he owned a bank called Pacific American Capital Corporation in Oakland. The guilty verdict followed 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 and contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The maximum statutory penalty for each count in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343 is 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000, plus restitution. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the Court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. 3553. The sentencing of Mr. Hattabaugh is scheduled for July 5, 2005 before Judge Samuel Conti in San Francisco.
The conviction is the result of a two-and-a-half year investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 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.
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 . Related court documents and information may be found on the District Court website at www.cand.uscourts.gov or on .
All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney’s Office should be directed to Luke Macaulay at (415) 436-6757 or by email at Luke.Macaulay3@usdoj.gov .