Rogers Man Pleads Guilty to Fraud and Money Laundering Offenses
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 18, 2013|
FORT SMITH, AR—Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Allen Wichtendahl, 61, of Rogers, Arkansas, pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud, one count of securities fraud, and one count of money laundering. The plea took place yesterday before the Honorable Robert T. Dawson in United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas in Fort Smith.
U.S. Attorney Eldridge commented, “As this case and others demonstrate, it is a priority for our office to investigate and prosecute those who swindle investors out of their hard-earned money by fraud and deceit. This is a significant step in bringing this individual to justice.”
According to court records, in July 2009, Wichtendahl solicited individuals to invest in “parts” of a company called New Vision Technology. Wichtendahl coaxed investors by representing that New Vision Technology sold products in Bulgaria and planned to build a power plant, sell tractors, and establish a cassava processing facility in Nigeria. He began selling the parts for around $3,200 per “part,” but by 2012, Wichtendahl had increased the price for up to $40,000 per “part.” Wichtendahl promised the investors that their investment would make them rich, but the investors received nothing in return for their money. Wichtendahl did not disclose to the investors that the majority of their money would be used for his personal living expenses. Wichtendahl also mislead investors about the financial stability of the company by composing monthly reports inflating New Vision Technology’s projected revenues and did not inform investors that he was previously convicted of two felony fraud convictions while living in Florida. Wichtendahl was charged in a 36-count second superseding indictment on June 5, 2013.
The defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record (if any), the defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violations. The sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases will be less than the maximum. In this case, Wichtendahl faces a maximum sentence of 20 years per fraud count, and a maximum sentence of 10 years for money laundering.
This case was investigated by the IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorney Kyra Jenner is prosecuting the case for the United States.