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Author Topic: BFL SC / Jally first picture?  (Read 25809 times)
MPOE-PR
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September 20, 2012, 12:16:40 AM
 #221

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The description you provide here does not seem to match very well with the charges in the indictment. Vleisides plead guilty, which means that he agrees that he did the following, at least with respect to the first count/mailing.

(please excuse OCR errors)

The Grand Jury charges:
COUNTS ONE THROUGH ELEVEN [18 U.S.C. §§ 1341, 2]
A. INTRODUCTION
1. At all times relevant to this Indictment:

a. Shamrock Agency, German Swiss Group, World Expert Fund, Mutual Medical Insurance Co, Old Amsterdam Trust Co, Euro American Fax Co, European Union Commission, EU American Payment Co, Global Search Network, North American Foreign Payments Services, Worldwide Verification Service, and others (collectively, the "Fraudulent Lottery and Pension Companies") were companies purporting to, for a fee, enter individuals in the United States into foreign and domestic lotteries, and to set up pension accounts.

b.   Defendants SONNY VLEISIDES ("VLEISIDES"), JAMES RAY HOUSTON, aka Rex Rogers ("HOUSTON"), and DENNIS EMMETT ("EMMETT") owned and controlled portions of the Fraudulent Lottery and Pension Companies.

c.   Defendant WILLIAM CLOUD ("CLOUD") worked for the Fraudulent Lottery and Pension Companies, which work included handling offshore mailing addresses, creating and maintaining victim lists, and handling and directing the handling of victim funds.

d.   Defendant SCOTT HENRY WALTHER ("WALTHER") worked for the Fraudulent Lottery and Pension Companies, which work included overseeing the finances of the Fraudulent Lottery and Pension Companies, and controlling some of the bank accounts related to those entities.

B. THE SCHEME TO DEFRAUD

2. Beginning in or about 1990, and continuing to at least in or about July 2006, in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Louis Obispo, and Riverside Counties, within the Central District of California, and elsewhere, defendants VLEISIDES, HOUSTON, EMMETT, CLOUD, and WALTHER, together with others known and unknown to the Grand Jury, knowingly and with intent to defraud, devised, participated in, and executed a scheme to defraud victims as to a material matter, and to obtain money and property from such victims by means of material false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises, and by the concealment of material facts.

3. To execute the scheme to defraud, defendants VLEISIDES, HOUSTON, EMMETT, CLOUD, and WALTHER and others known and unknown to the Grand Jury set up and operated the Fraudulent Lottery and Pension Companies. The scheme operated as follows:

a. Defendants VLEISIDES, HOUSTON, EMMETT, CLOUD, and WALTHER, and others known and unknown to the Grand Jury created and sent over one million solicitations purportedly offering increased chances of winning foreign and domestic lotteries such as "The Australian Lottery," "The International Irish Sweepstakes," "The El Gordo," "The Bunderschmidt," "The NY Super 7," and the "Triple Crown Lottery." The solicitations claimed that the victims were purchasing "positions" in tickets to lotteries that would be grouped together or "pooled" to buy larger blocks of tickets. The solicitations contained various misrepresentations, including but not limited to the following:

i.   That money sent by participants in the pool would be used to purchase tickets in lotteries, horse races, and other such games;

ii.   That participants in the pool had a chance to win millions of dollars;

iii. That previous participants in the pool had won millions of dollars through the pool;

iv.   That the companies were backed by governmental and/or legitimate lottery entities;

v.   That the companies were well-established and had been in business for long periods of time; and

vi.   That winnings invested into the lottery's trust or pension accounts would pay monthly pension checks until the end of the victim's life, and then would pay an amount to a beneficiary as if the money were a life insurance policy.

b.   The solicitations induced the victims to send payments to the Fraudulent Lottery and Pension Companies via the United States mail, in that along with the solicitations, defendants VLEISIDES, HOUSTON, EMMETT, CLOUD, and WALTHER and others known and unknown to the Grand Jury provided the victims with envelopes preaddressed to commercial mail receiving agencies established by defendant CLOUD and others known and unknown to the Grand Jury in the Netherlands and Ireland, among other locations.

c.   At the direction of defendants VLEISIDES, HOUSTON, and EMMETT, defendant WALTHER and others known and unknown to the Grand Jury first deposited the victims' money into accounts defendant WALTHER and others known and unknown to the Grand Jury established at numerous banks in accounts with names that sounded like official lotteries, for example: Shamrock Agency, World Expert, Old Amsterdam, German Swiss, Global Search Newtwork, and EUC, and official pensions, for example: Mutual Medical Insurance Company ("the Deposit Accounts").

d.   After the victims' money was deposited into the Deposit Accounts, at the direction of defendants VLEISIDES,
HOUSTON, and EMMETT, defendant WALTHER and others known and unknown to the Grand Jury transferred some of the victims' money into another set of accounts, with the following names, among others: North American Payment and EU Payment Service ("the Payment Accounts").

e.   From the Payment Accounts, at the direction of defendants VLEISIDES, HOUSTON, and EMMETT, defendant WALTHER and others known and unknown to the Grand Jury wrote checks falsely represented as lottery winnings and sent them back to the victims. The amount of the alleged "winnings" sent to each victim was far less than the amount the victim had sent in.

f.   At the direction of defendants VLEISIDES, HOUSTON, and EMMETT, defendant WALTHER and others known and unknown to the Grand Jury transferred some of the money from the Lottery Accounts and Payment Accounts to another set of accounts, which were in names similar to Henry Walther Attorney Wire Account ("the Syphon Accounts").

g.   At the direction of defendants VLEISIDES, HOUSTON, and EMMETT, defendant WALTHER and others known and unknown to the Grand Jury wrote checks (or transferred money by wire) from the Lottery Accounts and the Payment Accounts to the Syphon Accounts.

h.   Defendants VLEISIDES, HOUSTON, EMMETT, CLOUD, and WALTHER and others known and unknown to the Grand Jury used money from the Syphon Accounts to continue the scheme by paying scheme expenses, as well as to provide benefits to defendants VLEISIDES, HOUSTON, EMMETT, CLOUD, and WALTHER.

i.   Defendants VLEISIDES, HOUSTON, EMMETT, CLOUD, and WALTHER and others known and unknown to the Grand Jury also misappropriated funds from the Lottery Accounts and Payment Accounts in the form of checks to cash, checks to themselves, or checks to the payment of personal or scheme expenses.

C. THE MISREPRESENTATIONS AND CONCEALMENT OF MATERIAL FACTS

4. In furtherance of the scheme to defraud, defendants VLEISIDES, HOUSTON, EMMETT, CLOUD, and WALTHER, and others known and unknown to the Grand Jury, engaged in and willfully caused others known and unknown to the Grand Jury to engage in the following material fraudulent and deceptive acts, practices, devices, and representations, among others, and knowingly concealed and caused others known and unknown to the Grand Jury to conceal the following material facts, among others:

a.   Defendants VLEISIDES, HOUSTON, EMMETT, CLOUD, and WALTHER falsely represented to victims, and caused others known and unknown to the Grand Jury to falsely represent to victims, that if the victims sent money to the Fraudulent Lottery and Pension Companies, that money would be used to purchase tickets in lotteries and other such games. In truth and in fact, as defendants VLEISIDES, HOUSTON, EMMETT, CLOUD, and"WALTHER then well knew, the money was not used to purchase such tickets, but rather was used to send purported winnings to other victims, to otherwise further the fraudulent scheme, and to benefit defendants VLEISIDES, HOUSTON, EMMETT, CLOUD, WALTHER and others known and unknown to the Grand Jury.

b.   Defendants VLEISIDES, HOUSTON, EMMETT, CLOUD, and WALTHER falsely represented to victims, and caused others known and unknown to the Grand Jury to falsely represent to victims, that if the victims sent money to the Fraudulent Lottery and Pension Companies, they had a chance to win millions of dollars through the Fraudulent Lottery and Pension Companies. In truth and in fact, as defendants VLEISIDES, HOUSTON, EMMETT, CLOUD, anc WALTHER then well knew, no participant had a chance to win millions of dollars through the Fraudulent Lottery and Pension Companies.

c.   Defendants VLEISIDES, HOUSTON, EMMETT, CLOUD, and WALTHER falsely represented to victims, and caused others known and unknown to the Grand Jury to falsely represent to victims, that previous participants in the Fraudulent Lottery and Pension Companies had won millions of dollars. In truth and in fact, as defendants VLEISIDES, HOUSTON, EMMETT, CLOUD, and WALTHER then well knew, no participant in the Fraudulent Lottery and Pension Companies had ever won millions of dollars through the Fraudulent Lottery and Pension Companies.

d.   Defendants VLEISIDES, HOUSTON, EMMETT, CLOUD, and WALTHER falsely represented to victims, and caused others known and unknown to the Grand Jury to falsely represent to victims, that the Fraudulent Lottery and Pension Companies were backed by governmental and/or legitimate lottery entities. In truth and ir fact, as defendants VLEISIDES, HOUSTON, EMMETT, CLOUD, and WALTHER then well knew, the Fraudulent Lottery and Pension Companies were not backed by any governmental or legitimate lottery entity.

e.   Defendants VLEISIDES, HOUSTON, EMMETT, CLOUD, and WALTHER falsely represented to victims, and caused others known and unknown to the Grand Jury to falsely represent to victims, that checks sent to victims represented winnings from the victims' participation in lotteries, horse races, or other games. In truth and in fact, as defendants VLEISIDES, HOUSTON, EMMETT, CLOUD, and WALTHER then well knew, the checks sent to victims were not from victims' winnings but were actually funds sent in by other victims.

f.   Defendants VLEISIDES, HOUSTON, EMMETT, CLOUD, and WALTHER falsely represented to victims, and caused others known and unknown to the Grand Jury to falsely represent to victims, that winnings invested into the Fraudulent Lottery and Pension Companies' accounts would pay monthly pension checks until the end of the victim's life, and then would pay an amount to a beneficiary as if the money were a life insurance policy. In truth and in fact, as defendants VLEISIDES, HOUSTON, EMMETT, CLOUD, and WALTHER then well knew, there were no separate pension or life insurance accounts for victims, and victims would not be paid as promised.

g.   Defendants VLEISIDES, HOUSTON, EMMETT, CLOUD, and WALTHER caused letters to be sent to victims falsely claiming to be from individuals with a background in and connection to legitimate foreign lotteries. In truth and in fact, as defendants VLEISIDES, HOUSTON, EMMETT, CLOUD, and WALTHER then well knew, the persons from whom the letters sent by the Fraudulent Lottery and Pension Company purported to be did not exist.

D. THE EFFECT OF THE SCHEME TO DEFRAUD

5. Through the above-described scheme to defraud, defendants VLEISIDES, HOUSTON, EMMETT, CLOUD, and WALTHER caused tens of thousands of victims to send over $25 million to the Fraudulent Lottery and Pension Companies. E. THE MAILINGS

6. On or about the dates listed below, in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Louis Obispo, and Riverside Counties, withii the Central District of California, and elsewhere, defendants VLEISIDES, HOUSTON, EMMETT, CLOUD, and WALTHER, for the purpose of executing the above-described scheme to defraud, caused the following items to be placed in an authorized depository for mai; matter and to be sent and delivered by the U.S. Postal Service and to be deposited with and to be delivered by private and commercial interstate carriers, according to the directions thereon:

[long list of checks omitted]

COUNTS TWELVE THROUGH TWENTY-THREE [18 U.S.C. §§ 1956(a) (1) (A) (i) , 2]

7.   The Grand Jury hereby realleges and incorporates by reference paragraphs one through five of this Indictment.

8.   On or about the following dates, in Los Angeles County, within the Central District of California, and elsewhere, defendants SONNY VLEISIDES, JAMES RAY HOUSTON, DENNIS EMMETT, WILLIAM CLOUD, and SCOTT HENRY WALTHER, knowing that the property involved in each of the financial transactions represented the proceeds of some form of unlawful activity, knowingly conducted, attempted to conduct, and aided, abetted, counseled, commanded, induced, procured, and willfully caused the following financial transactions affecting interstate commerce, which transactions in fact involved the proceeds of specified unlawful activity, that is, mail fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341, with the intent to promote the carrying on of such specified unlawful activity:

[long list of checks omitted]

Witnessed.

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September 20, 2012, 12:17:02 AM
 #222

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Are you finding out this stuff as you go along Inaba or was it made known to you when you joined BFL as staff?

I was made aware of it prior to my employment.

Quote
I understood your first message to suggest that Mr. Vleisides has been honest and open regarding his crime, plea, and conviction. Your response above seems to suggest that Mr. Vleisides believes that he was innocent of the crimes he was charged with, but deliberately plead guilty anyway. Is that a more accurate summary of the situation?

That's correct.  

Quote
.. but according to the indictment, there was no offshore gaming, just people pretending to be associated with offshore games, when in fact they were simply taking people's money. No gambling at all was occurring, which is why the indictment/conviction was for mail fraud, not illegal gambling.

It's my understanding (but I am not a lawyer) that the government would not be able to get a prosecution for the offshore gaming (and Italy would not extradite if the US intended to prosecute on those charges), since it was legal in that jurisdiction and instead went for mail fraud, since the lotteries via mail were involved.

If you're searching these lines for a point, you've probably missed it.  There was never anything there in the first place.
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September 20, 2012, 12:17:57 AM
 #223

Just out of curiosity has Sonny Chris Vleisides, ever communicated with his customers directly or participated in the forums.

Search the forums. He has directly answered customer service technical requests.

I'm not familiar with his forum handle

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September 20, 2012, 12:18:18 AM
 #224

Search the forums. He has directly answered customer service technical requests.
"technical requests". OK.

I'm curious as to whether he ever said, or referred to, "four to six weeks".
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September 20, 2012, 12:20:48 AM
 #225

Inaba,

Just out of curiosity has Sonny Chris Vleisides, ever communicated with his customers directly or participated in the forums. Perhaps given all the discovery that has occurred it may be time for him to do so. If, and I mean this seriously, his probation allows it. I would suggest a civil (e.g. moderated) town hall of sorts where people can ask and have answered their questions and concerns



David,

I have emails from him only as Sonny K.

Fully agree on the moderated town hall.  Even Reddit AMA would be acceptable.
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September 20, 2012, 12:21:55 AM
 #226

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Are you finding out this stuff as you go along Inaba or was it made known to you when you joined BFL as staff?

I was made aware of it prior to my employment.
And I am not surprised that you found this acceptable.
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September 20, 2012, 12:22:13 AM
 #227


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.. but according to the indictment, there was no offshore gaming, just people pretending to be associated with offshore games, when in fact they were simply taking people's money. No gambling at all was occurring, which is why the indictment/conviction was for mail fraud, not illegal gambling.

It's my understanding (but I am not a lawyer) that the government would not be able to get a prosecution for the offshore gaming (and Italy would not extradite if the US intended to prosecute on those charges), since it was legal in that jurisdiction and instead went for mail fraud, since the lotteries via mail were involved.
[/quote]

in the indictment though it states:

...From the Payment Accounts, at the direction of defendants VLEISIDES, HOUSTON, and EMMETT, defendant WALTHER and others known and unknown to the Grand Jury wrote checks falsely represented as lottery winnings and sent them back to the victims. The amount of the alleged "winnings" sent to each victim was far less than the amount the victim had sent in.

This would seem to indicate that the knowingly attempted to deceive people into thinking they had won a foreign lottery to induce them to send in more money. I hate to say this but the two accounts do not line up for me


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September 20, 2012, 12:22:17 AM
 #228

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Just out of curiosity has Sonny Chris Vleisides, ever communicated with his customers directly or participated in the forums. Perhaps given all the discovery that has occurred it may be time for him to do so. If, and I mean this seriously, his probation allows it. I would suggest a civil (e.g. moderated) town hall of sorts where people can ask and have answered their questions and concerns

This is a good idea and I am sure he would be happy to comply with it, so long as people are civil and rational.  He does not like the irrationality and mad-dog nature of the forums in the least (and who can blame him?), whereas I don't mind it a bit, hence why I'm the go between.  

Quote
You've jumped out of  a plane nude before also?

No, only fully clothed.  The tandem guy I was strapped to said he wouldn't strap himself to me if stuff that shouldn't be flapping around started flapping around.  Prude.


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September 20, 2012, 12:22:45 AM
 #229

Just out of curiosity has Sonny Chris Vleisides, ever communicated with his customers directly or participated in the forums.

Search the forums. He has directly answered customer service technical requests.

I'm not familiar with his forum handle

Seen quotations from emails from Sonny. Search "sonny". Smiley

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September 20, 2012, 12:24:02 AM
 #230

For the town hall, what about IRC or is that too esoteric for a lot of people?  And when?  I will absolutely make this happen ASAP if we can agree on a time and place.

If you're searching these lines for a point, you've probably missed it.  There was never anything there in the first place.
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September 20, 2012, 12:25:52 AM
 #231

For the town hall, what about IRC or is that too esoteric for a lot of people?  And when?

how about a webex or other similar type of webcast tech - that way you could fully moderate the proceedings to keep it civil

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September 20, 2012, 12:27:30 AM
 #232

how about a webex or other similar type of webcast tech - that way you could fully moderate the proceedings to keep it civil
He could keep it civil?

At this point I suggest a third, neutral, party is appropriate.
Inaba
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September 20, 2012, 12:28:25 AM
 #233

That's getting a bit complicated, lets keep it to the forums at least for the time being.  I would like to get a mod to keep an eye on it and take care of the griefers, but any legitimate, rational discourse would be welcomed.

Which mod would agree and would be agreeable to everyone?

If you're searching these lines for a point, you've probably missed it.  There was never anything there in the first place.
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September 20, 2012, 12:29:23 AM
 #234

I've got an appointment to get to... if someone wants to contact a mod and explain what we want to do, that  would be great (and it would keep me from being implicated as trying to game the situation).  I will talk to Sonny and get things going from this end as well.

If you're searching these lines for a point, you've probably missed it.  There was never anything there in the first place.
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September 20, 2012, 12:29:39 AM
 #235

Be mindful to check pickforks and torches at the door.
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September 20, 2012, 12:29:59 AM
 #236

For the town hall, what about IRC or is that too esoteric for a lot of people?  And when?  I will absolutely make this happen ASAP if we can agree on a time and place.

IRC will just get nasty.  At the very least, people can nick flood the channel.

Plus, given the #btcst-trust and other débâcles lately, it may be best to have an open, durable, but not real-time forum.  Can anyone set up an AMA on Reddit?  At least there will be the opportunity to vote down Hyde Reeses funfests and focus on specific, targeted, questions.
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September 20, 2012, 12:31:56 AM
 #237

That's getting a bit complicated, lets keep it to the forums at least for the time being.  I would like to get a mod to keep an eye on it and take care of the griefers, but any legitimate, rational discourse would be welcomed.

Which mod would agree and would be agreeable to everyone?

The linear nature of the forums would preclude multiple threads of detailed interaction.
Raoul Duke
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September 20, 2012, 12:33:39 AM
 #238

I've got an appointment to get to... if someone wants to contact a mod and explain what we want to do, that  would be great (and it would keep me from being implicated as trying to game the situation).  I will talk to Sonny and get things going from this end as well.


You don't need a Moderator. You just need Local Thread Rules.
People who don't follow them, you report them and the posts get deleted. If they prevaricate they'll likely get banned for a cool off period.

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September 20, 2012, 12:34:59 AM
 #239

You don't need a Moderator. You just need Local Thread Rules.
People who don't follow them, you report them and the posts get deleted. If they prevaricate they'll likely get banned for a cool off period.

What?
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September 20, 2012, 12:35:23 AM
 #240

For the town hall, what about IRC or is that too esoteric for a lot of people?  And when?  I will absolutely make this happen ASAP if we can agree on a time and place.

IRC will just get nasty.  At the very least, people can nick flood the channel.

Plus, given the #btcst-trust and other débâcles lately, it may be best to have an open, durable, but not real-time forum.  Can anyone set up an AMA on Reddit?  At least there will be the opportunity to vote down Hyde Reeses funfests and focus on specific, targeted, questions.

I would suggest, webex, Live meeting, Reddit or any other webcast technology. The reason why is that VOIP can be used so that answers that require complex explanations can be fully explained. I think typing out, the kind if inquiries that are likely to come across, may prove daunting and tedious, plus expose the answers to misinterpretation as so often happens with emails and forum discussions  (as evidenced in this thread here)

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