Patrick J. Belzner has been indicted for conspiring to commit wire fraud by a federal grand jury. The Glen Arm, Maryland man has been indicted for his part in a $14 million investment fraud. Belzner also used the name Patrick McCloskey. He, along with this co- conspirator lured investors in with an assurance that their funds would be safe in an escrow account, according to the complaint.
The purpose of starting such a fund was to show liquidity for his business which obtained loans for commercial real estate projects, states the complaint. Investors thus trusted the man with their money but instead of using it for the stated purpose, Belzner allegedly used the money to pay for his lavish personal life instead. Millions were withdrawn from the account.
The amount withdrawn is said to be in the vicinity of $14,730,780. The amount was allegedly used not just for personal purposes but to pay off other debts as well. The details of the alleged co-conspirators are not known except the speculation that they include licensed attorneys, another home builder and a senior underwriter. Cases against them are yet to be filed.
The Online Pokies alleged co-conspirators hail from places like Baltimore, Newport Beach and California. The investors continued to be duped with false bank statements being sent to them, according to the complaint. They were also allegedly given specific dates on which their money would be returned to them. The alleged fraud was carried out for two years between August 2009 and August 2011. The victims were mostly people who were seeking investment opportunities in real estate including those in commercial real estate development lending, according to the complaint.
The indictment against Belzner was announced by US Attorney for the District of Maryland, Rod J.Rosenstein. The FBI and the IRS worked together on this case. The indictment seeks the forfeiture of the amount withdrawn from the escrow accounts and money to be returned to the victims. 42 year old Belzner could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
He may also be asked to pay a fine of $250,000 or double the value of the profit or loss. Earlier, in 1999 Belzner pled guilty in Howard County Circuit Court for his part in embezzling more than $250,000 from a Columbia based food distributor.