United States Army Captain Indicted for Wire and Mail Fraud
|U.S. Attorney’s Office July 17, 2013|
GAINESVILLE, FL—Michael Benjamin Crowder, 35, appeared in the Gainesville Division of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida on an indictment charging him with multiple counts of wire and mail fraud, according to Pamela C. Marsh, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
Crowder, a U.S. Army Captain Judge Advocate General currently stationed in Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, owned and operated M & H Coins and Precious Metals LLC from his Gainesville home while attending the University of Florida Levin College of Law under the Army’s Funded Legal Education Program. The indictment alleges that Crowder defrauded customers of more than $700,000 by offering to sell rare coins and precious metals, receiving payment from the customers, and then not delivering the items. No money has been recovered.
Crowder is facing a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release upon completion of his sentence, and a $100 Special Monetary Assessment. He is scheduled for trial on August 20, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. before United States District Judge Mark E. Walker.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg McMahon.
An indictment is merely an allegation by a grand jury that a defendant has committed a violation of federal criminal law and is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial in a court of law.