South Carolina Man Charged with Tampering with Witnesses in Federal Trial
|U.S. Attorney’s Office June 27, 2014|
CAMDEN—A South Carolina man was arrested today and charged with tampering with witnesses in a federal criminal trial that concluded last September, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Dennis Nadeau, 53, of Myrtle Beach, S.C., was arrested at his home this morning by agents of the FBI and charged by a complaint with misleading conduct with intent to influence the testimony of four actual and potential witnesses in the trial of the U.S. v. Adam Lacerda et al. Nadeau will have an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen M. Williams in Camden federal court at a later date.
According to documents filed in this case and in the prior criminal case:
From 2010 through 2013, Nadeau worked at the New Jersey-based Vacation Ownership Group LLC and its successor, VO Financial. In 2013, 13 former VO Group employees pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud timeshare owners. Four other VO Group employees, including VO Group President Adam Lacerda and his wife, Ashley Lacerda, were convicted by a jury of conspiracy and related charges after a seven-week trial that concluded last September. The Lacerdas have been in custody since the trial and all defendants are awaiting sentencing.
Shortly before the start of last year’s trial, Ashley Lacerda allegedly directed Nadeau to call potential trial witnesses and try to convince them that they had not been defrauded. Nadeau called several individuals, made numerous false statements about their dealings with VO, and tried to get them to agree with the false statements. Unbeknownst to three of the witnesses, Nadeau was recording the calls.
The witness tampering count with which Nadeau is charged carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of the greater of $250,000 or twice the gain or loss caused by the offense.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI’s Atlantic City Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford, with the ongoing investigation leading to today’s charges.
The charges and allegations in the complaint are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney R. David Walk Jr. of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Camden.