More Charges Filed Against Christian County Reserve Deputy in $14.5 Million Investment Fraud Scheme
SPRINGFIELD, MO—Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a reserve deputy sheriff for Christian County, Mo., was indicted by a federal grand jury today on additional charges related to a $14.5 million investment fraud scheme.
Marty Layne Brickey, 44, of Republic, Mo., was charged in a 30-count superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield, Mo. Today’s superseding indictment replaces an indictment that was returned on June 10, 2014, and adds additional charges.
Brickey has been commissioned as a reserve deputy sheriff in Christian County, Mo., since 2012.
Including three counts of wire fraud and six counts of money laundering contained in the original indictment, today’s indictment charges Brickey with a total of 10 counts of wire fraud, 13 counts of money laundering and seven counts of failure to pay employment taxes.
According to the indictment, Brickey owned and operated several companies that marketed, promoted and managed software development. Interzone Entertainment, LLC, had offices located in Springfield, Chicago, Ill., Perth, Australia, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and in China before it ceased operations in February 2010. Big Collision Games, LLC, had offices in Texas and in Dublin, Ireland. MasterTitle Games, Inc., and Spectacle Games maintained offices in Austin, Texas. Brickey also owned Zoonik USA, Inc., and Studio Avenue, Inc.
The federal indictment alleges that Brickey defrauded investors of more than $14.5 million in a scheme that operated from January 2008 to January 2014. Brickey allegedly told victim investors that their investment funds would be used to bring a video game to market and they would share in the profits. Brickey made false statements to potential investors regarding the amount of capital he had raised from other investors, the indictment says, and how close his companies were to bringing a product to market.
Brickey allegedly told potential investors he was working with, or close to receiving investments from, various celebrities and important persons, including Shaquille O’Neal, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, the Sheik of Abu Dhabi and various corporate entities.
In reality, the indictment says, Brickey used a substantial amount of investor funds to pay his personal expenses unrelated to the development and marketing of any video game, and to repay prior investors who had demanded the return of their money. None of Brickey’s companies brought a video game to market, and the total revenue of Brickey’s companies during this time period was approximately $2,281.
Brickey is charged with seven counts of failure to pay employment tax (including federal income taxes, Medicare and Social Security taxes of employees) related to his role as president of Interzone from August 2006 to December 2011.
Between April 2009 and June 2011, the indictment says, Brickey caused Interzone to make hundreds of thousands of dollars of expenditures for his personal benefit while, at the same time, failing to pay over to the IRS the payroll tax due from Interzone’s employees’ paychecks. Interzone allegedly failed to account for and pay over approximately $102,813 in payroll taxes during those seven quarters.
Dickinson cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Mohlhenrich. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation and the FBI.