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Port Orchard man convicted in multi-million-dollar fraud scheme
Charles Nolan Bush, 69, of Port Orchard, was convicted Thursday in U.S. District Court in Tacoma of twenty-seven counts including securities fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, and money laundering.
The jury deliberated one day following a two-week jury trial.
Bush will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle on Feb. 6.
Bush was indicted by a federal grand jury in Seattle on Aug. 9, 2006. During July 2002, Bush left the U.S. for France and traveled on to Warsaw, Poland.
The Department of Justice requested Bush’s extradition from Poland in January 2007.
During August 2007, Polish authorities arrested Bush, and though he fought extradition, he was extradited from Poland and made his initial appearance on the indictment in U.S. District Court in Tacoma on Jan. 22, 2008.
"It can be devastating when the financial well-being of an individual falls into the wrong hands through deceit and trickery," said Kenneth J. Hines, the IRS Special Agent in Charge of the Pacific Northwest. "The days are numbered for those who peddle false hopes and dreams, and prey on investors for their own personal financial benefit."
According to testimony at trial and records filed in the case, Bush is alleged to have taken millions of dollars in investor money in a fraudulent high-yield scheme between 1998 and 2002.
In 1998, Bush was a resident of Des Moines, Washington, and later Port Orchard, where he operated various investment entities such as Hulaman Management Services (HMS), Global Dominion Financial Services (GDFS), and Cornerstone Institute.
Bush accepted more than $35 million in investor funds, promising high-yield investments, when in fact only one-third of investor money was placed into the high yield investments - which, in fact, did not exist.
Bush used the remaining investor money, among other things, to fund a lavish lifestyle and pay previous investors in the form of a Ponzi scheme.
In order to lend legitimacy to the investment scheme, after July 1999, Bush conducted business from "View Park Golf Estate," a mansion on a private nine-hole golf course, and from a luxury suite at Safeco Field, while representing to investors that he personally had taken a vow of poverty. Bush recruited other individuals, referred to as "financial planners," to act as his agents in promoting the scheme.
Towards the end of his scheme, Bush represented that investor money was for Cabo San Quintin, the name given to a destination resort which developers planned to build on a peninsula located on the west coast of Baja California, Mexico.
Bush allegedly lied to investors about the safety of the project as an investment.
Wire fraud, mail fraud, securities fraud and money laundering are punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
The case was investigated by the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), the United States Postal Inspection Service, the FBI, and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).