FAYETTEVILLE, AR (News Release) - Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Allen Wichtendahl, 62, of Rogers, Arkansas, was sentenced to 22 years in prison for mail fraud, securities fraud, and money laundering. Wichtendahl was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay his victims over $1,000,000 in restitution. The sentence was imposed by the Honorable Timothy L. Brooks, U.S. District Court Judge for the Western District of Arkansas.
U.S. Attorney Eldridge commented, “This case shows that we will work day in and day out to pursue swindlers who steal money from the people of Northwest Arkansas and our state. Over 300 individuals sent money to this Defendant regularly, believing that it was for a legitimate investment. Instead, the Defendant stole that money and used it to support his lavish lifestyle. Such action is shameful. I appreciate the hard work by all involved that has resulted in holding this Defendant accountable for his criminal conduct.”
“Allen Wichtendahl preyed on innocent investors to fund his lifestyle. The FBI takes these cases very seriously, and today’s sentencing of Wichtendahl sends a message that investment fraud will be investigated aggressively,” stated David T. Resch, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Little Rock.
According to court records, 333 victims were defrauded by Wichtendahl for a total of $1,046,860.02. In July 2009, Wichtendahl solicited individuals to invest in “parts” of a company called New Vision Technology. Wichtendahl coaxed investors by representing that New Vision Technology sold products in Bulgaria and planned to build a power plant, sell tractors, and establish a cassava processing facility in Nigeria. He began selling the parts for around $3,200 per “part,” but by 2012, Wichtendahl had increased the price for up to $40,000 per “part.” Wichtendahl promised the investors that their investment would make them rich, but the investors received nothing in return for their money. Wichtendahl did not disclose to the investors that the majority of their money would be used for his personal living expenses. Wichtendahl also mislead investors about the financial stability of the company by composing monthly reports inflating New Vision Technology’s projected revenues and did not inform investors that he was previously convicted of two felony fraud convictions while living in Florida. Wichtendahl was charged in a thirty-six count second superseding indictment on June 5, 2013. Wichtendahl pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud, one count of securities fraud, and one count of money laundering on October 17, 2013.
This case was investigated by the IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorney Kyra Jenner prosecuted the case for the United States.
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