Arizona Man Pleads Guilty to $1 Million Fraud

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013 3:27 pm  

Conner Eldridge, Arkansas' Western District U.S. Attorney, announced Thursday that Michael Columbia, 27, of Arizona, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud for using his company to defraud a customer of about $1 million dollars.

U.S. District Judge Jimm Larry Hendren accepted the guilty plea at the U.S. District Court in Fayetteville. Columbia faces up to 20 years of prison and up to $1 million in fines.

"We remain committed to investigating and prosecuting fraud in all forms," Eldridge said in a news release. "Those that perpetuate schemes to defraud individuals for their own person gain should be held accountable."

A grand jury returned an indictment on Aug. 22 charging Columbia with orchestrating a scheme to obtain money through fraud. According to court documents, Columbia accepted a customer's $1 million bond as collateral in order for the customer to obtain a loan through Columbia’s company, StoneRock Capital Group LLC.

Columbia then sold the bond without the customer’s knowledge and pocketed a portion of the proceeds.

 

 

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