Saturday, March 04, 2017

Federal Jury Slams Lawyer With Guilty Verdict For Role As Co-Conspirator In Pilfering Over $1 Million From Escrow Account In Connection w/ Construction Project That Never Got Off The Ground

From the Office of the U.S. Attorney (Frankfort, Kentucky):
  • Daniel R. Goodwin, an attorney from McLean, Virginia, has been convicted of defrauding a Laurel County construction company, in connection with a purported project to build a “green recycling center” in Manchester, Ky. The company, Elza Construction, LLC, lost $1.32 million upfront and incurred several million dollars more in excavation and site preparation costs, but nothing was ever built at the site.

    Late Thursday [February 9], a federal jury in Frankfort delivered a guilty verdict on four counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The verdict came after a week of trial and a day-and-a-half of deliberation.
    ***
    Part of this scheme was to require contractors like Elza Construction to send money to an escrow account in lieu of a traditional construction performance bond, with the promise that the money would be used to release financing for the project and that the money would be returned on a set schedule, typically within 3 to 4 months.

    Daniel Goodwin controlled the escrow account that received money from Elza Construction and others. Instead of following the terms of written agreements, he distributed the money among his co-conspirators and kept some of it for himself. The money was never returned to Elza Construction or any of the other contractors.

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