Arizona Man Pleads Guilty to $1 Million Fraud

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.