Robert Craddock pleads guilty to wire fraud
Zeek Rewards figure Robert Craddock was indicted on charges of wire fraud back in March.
This was followed by an arraignment in April, which saw Craddock plead not guilty.
Now news that earlier this month Craddock has changed his tune and plead guilty to two counts of wire fraud.
In total, Craddock (right) was indicted on two counts of wire fraud, with “elements” of the counts described as follows:
First Element: The Defendant knowingly devised or participated in a scheme to defraud, or to obtain money or property by using false pretenses, representations, or promises.
First Element: The false pretenses, representations, or promises were about a material fact.
First Element: The Defendant acted with the intent to defraud and
First Element: The Defendant transmitted or caused to be transmitted by wire some communication in interstate commerce to help carry out the scheme to defraud.
There’s probably some legal intricacy I’m missing, but to me counts 1 and 3 go hand in hand. Count four I’m neutral on.
In any event, Craddock has plead guilty to counts one and two, they
carry a maximum sentence of twenty years of imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, a term of supervised release of not more than three years, and a special assessment of $100 per felony count.
In exchange for Craddock pleading guilty,
the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida agrees not to charge defendant with committing any other federal criminal offenses known to the United States Attorney’s Office at the time of the execution of this agreement, related to the
conduct giving rise to this plea agreement.
At the time of sentencing, and in the event that no adverse information is received suggesting such a recommendation to be unwarranted, the United States will recommend to the Court that the defendant receive a two level downward adjustment for acceptance of responsibility, pursuant to USSG §3E1.1 (a).
The defendant understands that this recommendation or request is not binding on the Court, and if not accepted by the Court, the defendant will not be allowed to withdraw from the plea.
Or in other words, that’s it – guilty as charged and no further charges will be filed.
Not being familiar with sentencing procedures, I’m also not entirely sure what effect a “two level downward adjustment” will have on maximum twenty year prison sentence and $250,000 fine.
Should Craddock’s “offense level” be at “level 16 or greater” at the time of sentencing and Craddock remain cooperative, the US Attorney’s Office also agreed to ‘file a motion for a downward adjustment of one additional level.‘
That is of course if the court approves all of this (I don’t see why they wouldn’t). Failing which Craddock cannot reverse his guilty plea and will have to accept an alternative sentence regardless.
On the money side of things, Craddock’s plea agreement will see him
forfeit to the United States immediately and voluntarily any and all assets and property, or portions thereof, subject to forfeiture, whether in the possession or control of the United States or in the possession or control of the defendant or defendant’s nominees.
The assets to be forfeited specifically include, but are not limited to, a money judgment in the amount of $117,700.00, representing the amount of proceeds obtained as a result of the offenses charged in Counts One and Two.
So basically on top of the $250,000 he might be up for and whatever jail time he receives, Craddock is also stripped of his ill-gotten gains (and assets to cover what he doesn’t have in cash).
Craddock’s plea agreement was signed on the 12th of June, 2015 and filed the same day.
A change of plea hearing has been set for the 22nd of June (as Craddock initially plead not guilty), following which it’s expected a sentencing hearing will be scheduled.
Stay tuned as we continue to cover the downfall of one of the Zeek Rewards Ponzi scheme’s biggest advocates…
Footnote: Our thanks to Don@ASDUpdates for providing a copy of Robert Craddock’s wire fraud plea agreement.
Update 23rd June 2015 – Following a twenty-minute hearing held yesterday, Judge David Baker accepted Craddock’s guilty plea.
Craddock remains subject to the conditions of his initial release, with a sentencing hearing yet to be scheduled.
Update 30th June 2015 – A sentencing hearing has now been scheduled for September 14th, 2015.