San Juan County Resident Arraigned on Federal Wire Fraud Charges
ALBUQUERQUE—Bobby Willis, 43, a resident of Kirtland, N.M., was arraigned this morning in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., on an indictment charging him with wire fraud. Willis entered a not guilty plea and was released on pretrial conditions pending trial.
The two-count indictment, which was filed on Oct. 20, 2015, alleges that, from March 2010 through Aug. 2011, Willis executed an illegal scheme to defraud two victims of $1,000,000. According to the indictment, Willis allegedly offered the victims the opportunity to purchase a five-percent interest in a real estate investment company for $1,000,000 with the understanding that he and other individuals had also invested millions of dollars in the company. Willis then allegedly spent $995,000.00 of the victims’ $1,000,000 instead of investing the funds.
Count 1 of the indictment alleges that on Oct. 25, 2010, Willis caused $900,000.00 to be wire transferred from the bank account of the real estate investment company to his and his wife’s bank account. Count 2 alleges that on Nov. 12, 2010, Willis caused another $95,000.00 to be wire transferred from the real estate investment company’s bank account to his and his wife’s bank account. The indictment includes forfeiture provisions seeking a money judgment against Willis in the amount of $1,000,000.
If convicted, Willis faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.00. Charges in indictments are merely accusations and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty in a court of law.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney C. Paige Messec.