GECC Ties Show Criminal Histories

by Jeffrey Wood  on Friday, Aug. 16, 2002 12:00 am  

Three of the five principals involved in suspicious public company activities related to Golf Entertainment Inc. in Springdale have prior criminal records.

Jim Bolt, who since December has assumed numerous titles in company documents including chief operating officer and vice president/chief financial officer, has three convictions on six felony counts dating to 1975.

He is identified in Securities and Exchange Commission documents as "a professional journalist" and a media development consultant as well as vice president and chief operating officer. But in correspondence written on Golf letterhead that was obtained by the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal and, Bolt at times identified himself as Golf's vice president and CFO. In May, he gave a reporter a business card that listed him as "operations manager" of KVAQ, Channels 20/71, a Springdale television station.

Through requests under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act made to the Benton and Washington County Sheriff's Offices, the publications discovered that Bolt appears to have used the alias "Russ J. Wolf" in other dealings. Multiple Social Security numbers and birth dates, including the correct ones, were found to be associated with Bolt.

Bolt, 51, was convicted in 1975 for impersonating a police officer. In 1982, he was convicted on two counts of mail fraud and two counts of making false statements to a federally insured bank in federal court in Oklahoma. During the 1985 conclusion to that case, USA v. Bolt, the 10th Circuit of Appeals had this to say:

"Our review of the evidence establishes that Bolt was involved in elaborate schemes to defraud various companies and individuals. These schemes were built upon a fictitious business enterprise known as Saturation Systems ... The government has aptly described this business as being an enterprise which included a group of imaginary products and services, located in various imaginary locations in the United States, Scotland, Norway and other overseas locations."

The opinion went on to describe Bolt as a "skilled draftsman and printer" and detailed his use of "fictitious checks" drafted "on a nonexistent bank account at the National Bank of Liberia."

Bolt was sentenced to three years in federal prison. From January 1993 to July 1995, Bolt's home was the Federal Correctional Institu-tion in El Reno, Okla. His stay overlapped with that of Melvin L. Robinson, a trustee of the Genesis Trust in Bentonville — a supposed not-for-profit entity that is not registered with the Internal Revenue Service.

In 1992, Bolt was convicted of one count of theft of property in Washington County and sentenced to three years in the Arkansas Department of Correction. The case involved the theft of a computer hard-drive valued at about $350 that was stolen during the summer of 1991 from Megabyte Connection Point in Fayetteville.

In 1994, Robinson, 53, was convicted in California federal court of fraudulently selling liability insurance to trucking companies. He was found guilty of one count of conspiracy, 13 counts of mail fraud and 15 counts of wire fraud and received a 30-month prison term.

Another Golf and Genesis principal had minor convictions under Arkansas' hot check law in the late 1980's. Both cases involved nominal amounts of money, with a sentence of three years' probation. This principal also declared bankruptcy in 1996.



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