Real Estate Developer Charged with Defrauding Investors

Allison Tussey —  August 21, 2013 — Leave a comment

Mark Hofmann, 55, San Diego, California, a real estate developer, was charged in a one-count Bill of Information with wire fraud.

According to the Bill of Information, in late 2008, Hofmann sought investors to invest approximately $3,000,000 for the acquisition of an approximately five-acre tract of land adjacent to the Lakeview Regional Medical Center, Covington, Louisiana, and for the development of two office buildings on that land. Ultimately, Hofmann and his partner convinced Bolivar Investors Group, L.L.C., an investment group organized by members of the Crescent River Port Pilots’ Association, to invest the money.

Together, Hofmann, his partner, and Bolivar, created a new entity, “Newtrac West,” to facilitate the purchase and development in February 2009. Shortly thereafter, Hofmann and his partner opened a bank account in the name of Newtrac West for which only they were listed as signatories. Between January 20, 2009, and July 14, 2009, Bolivar made six deposits, including five by wire, into the Newtrac West bank account, totaling approximately $3,000,000.

The Bill of Information further alleges that between January 26, 2009, and December 14, 2009, on at least twenty-four occasions, Hofmann withdrew funds from the account without authorization and used them to repay his personal expenses and debts apart from and unrelated to the purchase or development of the land in Covington. In total, Hofmann misappropriated approximately $404,000.

Subsequently, Hofmann and his partner created doctored bank statements based on the real bank statements for the Newtrac West account that were designed to hide the unauthorized withdrawal of funds for Hofmann’s personal use, and, further, to deceive representatives of Bolivar into believing that Newtrac West was in excellent financial condition. Hofmann provided these fraudulent statements to Bolivar’s representatives regularly.

If convicted, Hofmann faces a maximum term of imprisonment of not more than 20 years, followed by up to 3 years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.

United States Attorney Dana J. Boente announced the charges.

United States Attorney Boente reiterated that the Bill of Information is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jordan Ginsberg.

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