June 11, 2015

Tomahawk Investment Adviser Charged with Wire Fraud and Money Laundering

MADISON, WI—John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced today the unsealing of a 21-count indictment charging Pamela Hass, 63, Tomahawk, Wis., with 10 counts of wire fraud and 11 counts of money laundering. The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation seeking $460,831.27 in criminal proceeds. The indictment was returned on May 13, 2015, by a federal grand jury sitting in Madison.

The indictment alleges that Hass engaged in a wire fraud scheme to defraud investors by promising returns from an investment in Internet pop-up ads. According to the indictment, Hass falsely told investors they would obtain a return of anywhere from five to 20 times their original investment, and that if the investment failed, she would personally guarantee the return of the original investment plus 7% interest.

The indictment further alleges that there was no investment, and instead of investing the funds given to her for investment, she used the funds to pay her personal living expenses. According to the indictment, Hass sent periodic updates by e-mail to her investors, falsely telling the investors that the payout was coming shortly and they should stay patient. The indictment alleges that Hass gave a variety of excuses for delays in the payout, informing them that because of the delays, they would receive a bonus to compensate them.

Hass appeared yesterday in U.S. District Court in Madison, and was released on a condition of house arrest. She will be arraigned on June 17, 2015. Hass faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on each count. In addition, she faces a maximum $250,000 fine on each of the wire fraud counts, and a $500,000 fine on each count of money laundering.

The charges against Hass are the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and IRS Criminal Investigation. The prosecution of this case has been assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel J. Graber. You are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.