Home Birmingham Press Releases 2009 Pelham-Area Resident Indicted for Fraud Scheme Involving More Than $400,000

Pelham-Area Resident Indicted for Fraud Scheme Involving More Than $400,000

U.S. Attorney’s Office October 29, 2009
  • Northern District of Alabama (205) 244-2001

BIRMINGHAM—A federal grand jury today indicted PAUL HASKELL LANE, JR. for his role in a four-year scheme involving mail fraud and wire fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, IRS Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Investigations, Reginael D. McDaniel, and FBI Special Agent in Charge Patrick Maley.

PAUL LANE, 66, of Pelham, was indicted on 35 counts of wire fraud, one count of mail fraud, and 18 counts of money laundering.

The fraud involved a scheme between 2004 and 2008 in which Lane and others, not named in the indictment, solicited money from individuals to pay expenses of a personal-injury type of lawsuit for a member of the Lane family. There was no actual lawsuit.

The indictment charges that Lane fraudulently promised that contributors would be repaid their investment, plus receive additional compensation, when the lawsuit was concluded. Over the course of the scheme, Lane fraudulently collected more than $400,000.

If convicted, Lane faces a maximum 20 years in prison for each count of wire and mail fraud and 10 years in prison for each count of money laundering. He also faces a maximum fine of $250,000 for each count.

“Investment frauds committed by use of mail and wire are priorities of federal investigators, and are often prosecuted in cooperation with the Alabama Securities Commission. The IRS also does an excellent job of tracing the proceeds of this unlawful activity, to deprive criminals of their profit,” Vance said.

"Money laundering is not a victimless crime,” said McDaniel, of the IRS. “The underground and untaxedeconomy generatedfromfinancial crimes harms the entire nation's economic strength."

“Cases like this are a good reminder to all citizens to make sure that the organization or cause they are giving to is a legitimate charity, and not one that was set up for the sole purpose of bilking the public,” said Maley, of the FBI. “Citizens can obtain more information on charitable contribution schemes and other types of online schemes by visiting www.lookstoogoodtobetrue.com. If you are a victim of an online scheme, please notify the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) by filing a complaint at www.ic3.gov.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa K. Atwood is prosecuting this case on behalf of the United States.

Members of the public are reminded that the indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

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