Who do you turn to when you need help the most? Most of us would say family and friends. However, in this case it seems that David E. Burkholder, age 54, from San Francisco, CA took that a bit too far. Indicted on 24 counts of wire fraud, Burkholder was arrested on federal charges of swindling his family and friends in Kansas.
According to the indictment, in 2002, Burkholder fraudulently told his parents in Kansas that he needed money to settle a personal injury claim against him as a result of a car accident, and to pay legal expenses associated with forming a new business. He said he would repay the money within a few weeks. As a result, his parents loaned him approximately $950,000.
In July 2003, instead of repaying the money, Burkholder convinced his parents to solicit additional money from family members, which he said was a loan and would be repaid within a few weeks. As a result, other family members loaned him an additional $926,142. In the fall of 2003, Burkholder asked his parents to solicit more money from friends of the family. Again, he claimed to need the money to settle a personal injury claim and to set up a new business. In addition, he falsely claimed he needed to make a payment to Barbara Streisand as part of a contract with the singer and actress.
As a result, from October 2003 through April 2005 Burkholder received 24 wire transfers from his parents ranging in amount from $1,000 to $80,000 each.
Every choice has a consequence. As a white collar crime and business ethics speaker, it is often that I find people swindling folks they don’t know. Rarely, however, do I find a crime prosecuted when the folks harmed are friends and family. But, you do reap what you sow – so perhaps in this situation it is appropriate to understand that one can be prosecuted for crimes – even when the crime is committed against one’s parents.
Keep in mind, an indictment is only an allegation that a crime has been committed. Burkholder is innocent until proven guilty.
More information to come. Your comments welcome!
White collar crime speaker – Chuck Gallagher – signing off for now!