August 5, 2015

Defunct Real Estate Investment Firm Owner Pleads Guilty to Fraud Charges

PHILADELPHIA—Michael Goldner, 44, of Glen Mills, PA, pleaded guilty today to a wire fraud and tax evasion after bilking would-be investors. U.S. District Court Judge Gerald A. McHugh scheduled a sentencing hearing for November 16, 2015.

Goldner was an accountant who owned a real estate investment firm, Arcadia Capital Group, Inc., which he started in 2003 with three other people. Arcadia ceased operations in the 4th quarter of 2009 and was out of business since the first quarter of 2009. Prior to 2007 and continuing into 2009, Goldner solicited individuals to invest in various real estate investments. Goldner promised a promissory note to at least one victim which, he said, would provide for regular payments and “occasional payments on the side.” One victim invested $25,000 on July 25, 2008, via a wire from his self-directed IRA. That victim then received a promissory note. At the time of that investment, the Arcadia bank account was overdrawn. Immediately following that investment, Goldner repaid three earlier investors and made one payment to LG Financial, which held a mortgage on a property Goldner part owned. Records from the Arcadia bank account show that from 2007 until Goldner closed the account in 2009, nearly $10 million was withdrawn from the account with less than $1 million going toward possible real estate deals. The remaining funds went to Goldner, his associates, and prior investors.

Goldner also owned an interest in Settlement Funds, LLC, and handled the day to day business of the company. Records from the Settlement Funds LLC bank account, which Goldner used after closing the Arcadia account, through April 2010 show that Goldner used the majority of the funds in the account on himself, his associates, and prior investors.

Goldner also had three tax clients from whom he stole funds the clients gave him to forward to the IRS. The clients gave Goldner funds to pay their tax obligations to the IRS but, instead, Goldner used the funds for his personal and business expenses.

Goldner faces a maximum possible sentence of 25 years in prison, possible restitution to the victims of more than $6 million, a $200 special assessment, and up to three years of supervised release.

The case was investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David J. Ignall.