Houston-Area Men Charged in $68 Million Bank Fraud
|U.S. Attorney’s Office June 15, 2012|
MONTGOMERY, AL—George L. Beck, Jr., United States Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama, and Lanny Breuer, Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice, announced today:
- The indictment on June 6, 2012 of three Houston, Texas-area men: Paul Hulse, Sr., age 64, of Kingwood, Texas; Steven P. Mock, age 68, of Houston, Texas; and Frank J. Teers, age 49, of Montgomery, Texas, on federal conspiracy, wire fraud, and bank fraud charges.
- The guilty plea on June 5, 2012 of Paul Hulse, Jr., age 42, of Kingwood, Texas, to an information charging conspiracy to make a false statement to a bank.
According to court filings, Paul Hulse, Sr. (Hulse) was a director of H&H Worldwide Financial Service Inc.; Paul Hulse, Jr. (Hulse, Jr.) was H&H’s president; Steven P. Mock was an attorney in the Houston area; and Frank J. Teers was a stockbroker employed by Tri-Star Financial Services in Houston. Beginning in 2003, Hulse began soliciting various persons and businesses for loans based on the false representation that he controlled a large portfolio of bonds—the amount ranged from tens to hundreds of millions of dollars—that could be used as collateral for the loans. Mock and Teers made false statements to the prospective lenders that supported Hulse’s claim that he owned a substantial bond portfolio. In fact, Hulse did not have a bond portfolio. None of the solicited institutions, which included Western National Bank of Midland, Texas, MetLife, UBS Securities, and Jefferies and Co. agreed to make a loan to Hulse or H&H.
According to the indictment, in February 2005, Hulse began soliciting loans from the Federal Land Bank of South Alabama (the bank) in Montgomery, Alabama. During the course of the discussions:
Hulse falsely represented that he had a large bond portfolio that could serve as collateral for the loans to H&H and submitted documents that concealed Hulse’s plan to use approximately half the loan proceeds to purchase the bonds that were going to serve as collateral for the loans.
Mock falsely claimed that he was Hulse’s “senior trust officer” and that the “trust agreements” permitted the use of $15 million of trust bonds in connection with the proposed loan.
Teers falsely represented that he managed a significant bond portfolio for Hulse, provided documents to Hulse that Hulse used to support his claim of ownership, signed documents that represented that bonds were on account at Tri-Star and failed to disclose to the bank and to Tri-Star that he had been interviewed by IRS criminal investigators about Hulse’s fraudulent activities.
According to the indictment, the bank made two loans to H&H totaling $68.5 million in August and December 2005. H&H used more than half the money to buy the bonds that were to serve as collateral for the loan. A significant amount of the loan proceeds were used for the personal benefits of Mock, Hulse, and members of the Hulse family. Teers made more than $600,000 in commissions from the buying and sale of bonds on behalf of H&H. By spring 2007, the relationship between H&H and the bank had deteriorated. In an effort to convince the bank to allow the principal of the bonds to be used to make the quarterly loan payment, on June 28, 2007, Mock, Hulse, and Hulse, Jr. sent a letter to the bank that (a) falsely claimed that H&H was on the “doorstep” of obtaining a loan from Wells Fargo that would allow the bank to be paid in full and (b) described how the loan proceeds had been used without disclosing the fact that more than half the loan proceeds had been used to buy the bond collateral.
Each count of the 10-count indictment carries a statutory maximum sentence of 30 years’ imprisonment. The conspiracy charge to which Hulse, Jr. pled guilty carries a statutory maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment.
Hulse and Mock were arraigned yesterday before United States Magistrate Judge Terry F. Moorer. Teers had his arraignment before Judge Moorer on June 13, 2012. Each defendant pled not guilty, and each was released on a $25,000 unsecured bond. Trial is set for February 11, 2013 before United States District Judge Myron H. Thompson.
Hulse, Jr. pled guilty before Chief United States Magistrate Judge Susan R. Walker, who released him on a $25,000 unsecured bond. Hulse, Jr. is scheduled to be sentenced on September 19, 2012 before Chief United States District Judge William Keith Watkins.
The case was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Andrew O. Schiff and Fraud Section Trial Attorney Ryan S. Faulconer.