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New Wire Fraud Case on Robert Buckhannon?

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Robert Buckhannon, based in Las Vegas, prioritizes his patients’ well-being, believing that a strong doctor-patient relationship is key to a healthy life. Raised in Phoenix, Arizona, with a younger brother and sister, he was inspired by his mother’s illness during his childhood to pursue a career in medicine and help others achieve optimal health.

Robert Buckhannon is imprisoned for a fraudulent scheme against a mortgage lender

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Robert Buckhannon, aged 59 and from Las Vegas, Nevada, has been sentenced to 24 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Janet T. Neff for his involvement in a fraud scheme targeting a California mortgage lender in connection with On Deck Sports Bar & Grill, a Battle Creek company. Upon release, Buckhannon will be under two years of court supervision and required to pay $467,213.98 in restitution to the victims, along with a $1,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Birge stated, “West Michigan does not tolerate fraudsters like Robert Buckhannon, who will now serve time for his deceptive actions.”

In July 2019, Buckhannon pleaded guilty in a federal courtroom in Grand Rapids to conspiring to commit wire fraud. He admitted to sending the mortgage lender false lease agreements and rent checks totaling $42,000 annually to secure a $456,000 loan for On Deck Sports Bar & Grill, owned by co-defendant Kelly DeMoss. The establishment was destroyed by fire on December 30, 2013, soon after the scheme.

Judge Neff’s decision took into account Buckhannon’s prior conviction in Nevada for wire fraud conspiracy related to the Vestium Equity Fund, for which he was ordered to pay $239,686.19 to the victims and serve three years of probation. Given his history of fraudulent behavior, the court emphasized the need for punishment and deterrence.

Co-defendant Kelly Flees received one year of federal probation and $30,654.42 in restitution for her involvement. She was convicted of misprision of a felony for her knowledge of Buckhannon’s offense and failure to report it to authorities.

The case was investigated by the Grand Rapids ATF office and the Battle Creek Police Department, with Assistant U.S. Attorneys Erin Lane and Christopher O’Connor prosecuting.

United States v. Robert Buckhannon

(Source)

What is a Wire Fraud?

Wire fraud involves utilizing telecommunications systems or the internet for fraudulent purposes. This can encompass various forms of communication, including phone calls, faxes, emails, text messages, or social media messages. Perpetrators of wire fraud face potential penalties such as imprisonment and fines.

  • Wire fraud entails the exploitation of telecommunications or internet systems.
  • Various electronic mediums, including phones, faxes, emails, social media, SMS, and text messages, can be utilized in wire fraud schemes.
  • Wire fraud typically involves communications that traverse state or international boundaries, and it is punishable by severe penalties and imprisonment.

Wire Fraud: An Overview

Wire fraud, as outlined in Section 1343 of the Criminal Resource Manual of the U.S. Department of Justice, involves several key elements:

1) The defendant knowingly and intentionally engages in a conspiracy to defraud another party of money.
2) The defendant’s actions are fraudulent.
3) The use of interstate wire communications is reasonably foreseeable.
4) Wire communications across state lines are employed.

The penalties for federal wire fraud can include up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 for individuals and $500,000 for companies. The statute of limitations for filing charges is typically five years, except in cases targeting financial institutions, where it extends to 10 years.

In certain circumstances, such as during a presidentially declared state of emergency or when targeting a financial institution, wire fraud penalties can include up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $1 million.

It’s important to note that one doesn’t have to directly deceive the victim or transmit false communications to be found guilty of wire fraud. Rather, demonstrating intent to defraud or knowledge of transmitting false communications is sufficient for conviction.

Background on Wire Fraud

In the past, con artists relied on telephone calls to deceive unsuspecting victims. However, with the internet’s vast reach, modern fraudsters can conduct their schemes online through fake profiles, fabricated stories, and promises of wealth or romance—all crafted with poor grammar and spelling.

While traditional phone calls are still utilized, individuals should remain vigilant against wire fraud attempts, promptly deleting suspicious messages or requests and avoiding falling prey to such schemes.

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