LAWFUEL – Legal Newswire – MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the
Southern District of New York, and MARK J. MERSHON, the Assistant
Director in Charge of the FBI New York Field Office, announced
that PHILIPPE and MILANA MURCIA of Greenwich, Connecticut, were
arrested today and charged with conspiring to defraud investors
in a company they control, Regenat USA Holding Corporation.
The Complaint, filed in White Plains federal court,
alleges that since at least April 2004, the MURCIAs induced
several individuals to “invest” or maintain their “investment” in
Regenat USA Holding Corporation, which the MURCIAs represented to
be a closely held corporation that recycled timber and waste;
produced wood, charcoal, and biomass fuel; and purified water.
The MURCIAs claimed, among other things, that in March
2004 Regenat was awarded a $2.5 million contract by Sodexho
International to supply 45 water treatment stations in Sudan
along an oil pipeline that would run from Libya to the Red Sea.
Sodexho, however, has no record of any dealings with Regenat and
did no business in Sudan between 2000 and 2005. The MURCIAs also
claimed that Regenat was preparing to undertake an initial public
offering, although none of the investment banks with which
Regenat was purportedly negotiating have records of any such
client dealings with Regenat.
Four investors were persuaded to invest a total of more
than $1.5 million in Regenat. The MURCIAs diverted a substantial
portion of the investment in Regenat to their own personal use.
Regenat’s bank account records show numerous personal expenses,
including substantial transfers to the MURCIAs’ personal bank
account, rent payments for the MURCIAs’ residence, six-figure
transfers to relatives, and more than $400,000 in debit card
purchases and withdrawals from automatic teller machines. These
purchases include a payment of over $8,000 for PHILIPPE MURCIA’s
60th birthday dinner; multiple purchases of over $1,000 each at
jewelry stores; clothing purchases; and a purchase of more than
$5,000 at Best Buy.
PHILIPPE and MILANA MURCIA were presented in White
Plains federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge GEORGE A.
YANTHIS this afternoon. Bail was set in the amount of $200,000
each, secured by $10,000 and two co-signers. A preliminary
hearing was set for February 6 at 9 a.m.
In the Complaint, PHILIPPE and MILANA MURCIA are each
charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud, which carries, upon
conviction, a maximum of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of
$250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss resulting from the
Mr. GARCIA praised the investigative efforts of the
Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Assistant United States Attorney BRENT WIBLE is in
charge of the prosecution.
The charge contained in the Complaint is merely an
accusation, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and
until proven guilty.