Former Wyoming Catholic College official accused of carrying out $ 15 million scam – Sheridan Media
This story first appeared on Cowboy State Daily
A former Wyoming Catholic College CFO is accused in a federal lawsuit of carrying out an elaborate scheme to defraud a $ 15 million New York asset management company.
Paul McCown is accused in a lawsuit in US District Court of forging financial documents and even posing as a bank official to convince Ria R Squared to loan him $ 15 million.
The lawsuit filed in late June indicated that within “hours or minutes” of McCown’s receipt of the loan, he had transferred most of the loan proceeds to other people – including parents, associates and Wyoming Catholic College. himself, who received an anonymous contribution of $ 10 million through McCown’s. Actions.
“This is the story of a complex, calculated, methodical and fraudulent ploy, orchestrated by a person in a trusted and respected position at Wyoming Catholic College, to defraud R Squared of the sum of $ 15 million,” he said. declared the trial.
The WCC, in a statement Wednesday, said it was returning the money.
Wyoming Catholic College was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit and no allegations were made that the college was involved in the scheme.
In the statement, the WCC said McCown was placed on indefinite administrative leave on June 5 due to personal financial irregularities and resigned on June 25.
“Over the past month, being subjected to such a breach of trust by an officer of our institution has been both embarrassing and painful for Wyoming Catholic College,” the college said.
He added that there was no evidence of financial irregularities at the college.
According to the lawsuit, McCown was introduced to David Kang, president and CEO of R Squared, by WCC executive vice president Jonathan Tonkowich.
McCown told Kang he was looking for some advisory services related to the college’s endowment fund.
In March of this year, McCown informed Kang that he was seeking investment advisory services on his own behalf for his “significant personal wealth”.
The lawsuit said McCown provided Kang with Wyoming Community Bank bank statements that revealed small balances in January and February that rose in March to $ 750.3 million following a large deposit.
He also offered US bank statements “which appeared to confirm the large transfer …”
McCown told R Squared to direct all of his questions to a Kendall Hayford, whom he identified as his bank officer at Wyoming Community Bank. A representative for R Squared had a phone conversation with a man identified as Kendall Hayford using a phone number provided by McCown.
In May, McCown texted Kang telling him he needed a short-term loan of $ 10 million, which was later increased to $ 15 million. He referred R Squared to Hayford for the necessary banking information.
The loan was made on May 11.
Meanwhile, McCown continued to move forward with setting up an investment advisory account with the $ 761 million that would be in his account. A person identifying himself as Hayford said the money was released and a bank transfer to R Squared was initiated on May 21.
“However, the funds did not arrive that day, nor the following Monday… (or never),” the lawsuit said.
While reviewing the situation, R Squared contacted the chairman of the Wyoming Community Bank and “McCown’s fraudulent activities have come to light.”
When contacted about the loan, McCown denied borrowing money or signing loan documents.
Further investigation revealed that the bank statements provided to R Squared were fake and that McCown never had hundreds of millions of dollars in Wyoming Community Bank.
While Kendall Hayford is an employee of Wyoming Community Bank, the number and email given to R Squared by McCown were both fake and Hayford’s signature on the documents was forged.
Within hours of receiving the money, according to the lawsuit, McCown transferred most of it to relatives, including his father and brother-in-law and sister-in-law, to himself and the Wyoming colleague. Catholic College who introduced him to Kang.
He also obtained a cashier’s check payable to the state for $ 841,863.
“The falseness and the tremendous effort that Mr. McCown put into executing his plan was not known until just days after the loan was funded,” the lawsuit said. “Unfortunately, the vast majority of funds have now been distributed to various entities and individuals affiliated with Mr. McCown, including members of his family and his employer.”
The lawsuit said R Squared could not make up about $ 1 million of the loan.
The lawsuit asks the court to issue an injunction to prevent further distribution of the money.
“Given the elusive and creative nature of Mr. McCown to this day, and his blatant and brazen disregard for the consequences of his misconduct, it is imperative that Mr. McCown … be prevented from (his) continued fraudulent conduct, the continued dissipation of assets, including funds obtained fraudulently and obstruction of justice, ”he said.
A hearing on the company’s claim is scheduled for July 16.
The lawsuit charges McCown with a number of charges, including fraud and breach of contract, and asks the court to force McCown to repay the loan plus interest, as well as punitive damages to be determined during the trial .
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