Stealing From Preachers – 69 Year Old Man Convicted in Dallas Texas – Comments By White Collar Crime Speaker Chuck Gallagher

The crime was theft – in its purest sense. Stanley Leitner, age 69, from Argyle, Texas was found guilty after little more than two hours of jury deliberation. His crime – an investment fraud scheme where he defrauded more than 100 victims, many of whom were pastors, their friends and families.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s news release:

Leitner was convicted on six counts of wire fraud, one count of securities fraud, one count of failing to disclose compensation for promoting a security, 13 counts of money laundering, and six counts of engaging in illegal monetary transactions. Each wire fraud count carries a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The securities fraud conviction carries a maximum statutory sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine and the failure to disclose compensation for promoting a security count carries a maximum statutory sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Each money laundering count carries a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. Each count of engaging in illegal monetary transactions carries a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Leitner is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Fish on April 22, 2008

Now, facing all those indictments, I am amazed that Leitner didn’t seek to plead guilty and forgo the jury trial. Surely he could not have thought that a jury would find him innocent? Hum, maybe he’s like Wesley Snipes (who’s on trial for tax fraud) and thought he didn’t understand what he was doing. Right!

From April 2004 to July 2005, Leitner was President and CEO of Megafund Corp., an entity he created to solicit investors to participate in (what he called a “High Yield” investment program. Leitner took the money – pooled it – and sent it to another individual’s overseas bank account in the Antilles. During this short fraudulent stint, Leitner raised more than $15 million from investors.

Leitner was found guilty of devising and executing a scheme to defraud his investors by making representations about the trading program he knew were not true, and not telling them material information he knew to be true, which led the investors into believing that there was little or no risk of losing the invested funds. In addition, Leitner failed to inform investors that he was not transferring to the program some of the funds investors sent to him, but instead was using those monies to fund several personal ventures and projects, including, among other things, a movie.

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As a keynote speaker(www.chuckgallagher.com), I talk to audiences nationwide about choices and consequences. Leitner is soon to face the consequence of his misguided actions. Based on the sentencing guidelines and the magnitude of the crime, I would expect that Mr. Leitner will see his last days on this earth in prison. Every choice has a consequence. My presentations deal with the Truth About Consequences and in this case…Leitner’s choices will yield consequences that I doubt he ever imagined.

Your thoughts?

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4 Responses to Stealing From Preachers – 69 Year Old Man Convicted in Dallas Texas – Comments By White Collar Crime Speaker Chuck Gallagher

  1. Big Man on Campus says:

    Chuck,

    It’s sad that you report on thing you know nothing about. I know Stan personally. He served our country and had done more for the homeless, children and poor in this country than most will ever know. He’s also an astute business man and highly intelligent. While I agree that he allowed his arrogance to get the best of him by trusting those to claim to be his friends; if you studied the case you’d find that the people that stole the money, bought cars etc were his partners that he was led to believe were sincere and reputable business men and women.

    His goal with Megafund was to invest in things that would give returns to charitable organizations; where his heart is. Obviously he was misled and the Feds merely took the lowest hanging fruit.

    I also think Stan allowed his arrogance to get in the way of his defense thinking a jury would find him innocent.

    The details in this case are not has been painted in the news. It never is.

    With that said, I don’t think it’s your place to condemn a man or to even discuss a case on a public forum when you know nothing of the details just so you can promote your business.

    Nuf said.

  2. You’re right I don’t know Stan. I do know a conviction though. You claim he’s a victim that others stole the money, etc. Well…from experience let me say, you need to be careful who you associate with. You say, Stan allowed his arrogance to get in the way of his defense…really? Is it possible he was just guilty?

    If you feel the facts are different than what was issued as a news release from the US Attorney – allow me to let you use this forum to promote the facts. I am happy to do that.

    Meanwhile, every choice has a consequence and the choices that Stan made have earned him a conviction.

    MOST IMPORTANT. I do not condemn any man. Having made significant mistakes in my past – mistakes that I spent time in federal prison for – of anyone, I should be the least to condemn. All I do is point out the relationship between choices and their consequences.

    Nuf said.

  3. Pie in the Sky says:

    I disagree with Nuff. Leitner was a lifelong serial scammer and con man who finally went too far and got busted.

    Leitner’s latest scams –Megafund and the bankrupt International Galleries Inc (a product based pyramid scheme) were both run by the same people out of the same offices. Interestingly both are listed as being the “assets” of a massive $300+million “high yeild/ prime bank” ponzi scam known as Horizon Establishment (see page 26 of this document) http://www.haysconsulting.net/correllhorizon/01-23-06%201st%20Interim%20Report.pdf and this archive: http://www.haysconsulting.net/correllhorizon.html

    One simply cannot be “an astute businessman” and a “Christian” with an altruistic, charitable heart and do the things he did. Either he was the world’s biggest patsy (too “trusting” as Nuff claims) or he knew exactly what he was doing. Leitner was indeed supremely arrogant. He and his cronies are thieves and are getting what they deserve… good riddance.

  4. Stranger to no one says:

    Pie in the sky is exactly right on all accounts. Leitner is so conniving that to cover his @** he divorced his wife solely to hide assets in her name. They were very much a couple and close. For him to use his wife in this way is dispicable. I will be at his sentencing and will speak about this emotional murderer and hopefully get the satisfaction of watching him go to prison.

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