Investment Firm’s Founder and Two Former Associates Plead Guilty in Fraudulent Investment Scheme to Market Pharmaceutical Ointment
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK—Last Friday, LAWRENCE GENE BOTHWELL, 34, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, TOMMY LYNN RICHARDSON, 50, of Ninnekah, Oklahoma, and KENNETH BOYCE, 54, of Pleasant View, Utah, entered guilty pleas related to fraudulent investment scheme to market a pharmaceutical ointment, announced Sanford C. Coats, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.
Bothwell was the founder of Bothwell Consulting, LLC, is an Oklahoma limited liability company and investment firm whose principal place of business was in Oklahoma City. Bothwell, Richardson, and Boyce were executives at Bothwell Consulting. Prior to founding Bothwell Consulting, Bothwell worked for the Massachusetts-based developer and owner of a topical ointment called Menastil to develop a website to market Menastil to a wider consumer base. However, Bothwell never acquired any ownership interest or distribution rights in Menastil.
On June 17, 2014, a federal grand jury returned a 13-count indictment alleging that the three defendants were engaged in a conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering for their sale of fraudulent debentures. Specifically, it was alleged that the defendants induced investors to invest in Bothwell Consulting based on false representations that their investments would be used to market Menastil and that the debentures were secured by a multi-million dollar trust, which did not actually exist. Instead, it was alleged that Bothwell, Richardson, and Boyce used the more than one million dollars of fraudulent proceeds for their own personal benefit.
Last Friday, the three defendants each entered separate guilty pleas. Bothwell pled guilty to committing money laundering and faces up to ten years in prison, and a fine of up to $250,000 at sentencing. Richardson and Boyce each pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and face up to 20 years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine at sentencing. Sentencing hearings will be set by the court in approximately 90 days. Reference is made to the court record for more information.
This case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by U.S. Attorney Sanford C. Coats and Assistant U.S. Attorney Julia E. Barry.