Carroll County Company Founder Indicted in $1.9 Million Fraudulent Investment Scheme
Founder and Former President of Gargyles, Inc. Allegedly Misrepresented Company Sales and Customers to Investors
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 20, 2011|
BALTIMORE—A federal grand jury indicted John F. “Jef” Curran, III, age 42, of Hampstead, Maryland today for securities and mail fraud.
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Postal Inspector in Charge Daniel S. Cortez of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service - Washington Division.
According to the seven-count indictment, Curran was the founder, president and single largest shareholder of Gargoyles, Inc., located in Westminster, Maryland. Gargoyles was a self-described “advanced materials application company,” purportedly doing business with customers in a variety of settings including the military and law enforcement.
From January 2009 to September 2010, Curran sold approximately $1.9 million worth of Gargoyles stock to investors. According to the indictment, Curran falsely represented to investors and potential investors that Gargoyles had customers, sales contracts and purchase orders for its products when, in fact, it did not. Curran also allegedly misrepresented his education to investors.
The indictment seeks forfeiture of at least $1,963,165 and 16 patent applications.
Curran faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on each of the three counts of securities and each of the four counts of mail fraud. He is scheduled to have an initial appearance on January 6, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. in the U.S. District courthouse in Baltimore.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
This law enforcement action is part of President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the FBI and U.S. Postal Inspection Service for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein praised Assistant U.S. Attorneys Leo Wise and Tonya Kelly, who are prosecuting the case.