Every choice has a consequence! May 2008 will be remembered by 40-year-old Andrew Maxwell Parker, owner of San Antonio Trade Group, Inc., since he was indicted on conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering, false statements and tax charges. It appears that Parker’s choices may be having unexpected consequences.
Parker’s indictment alleges that from February 2003 to November 2006, Parker schemed to defraud the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) by stealing millions of dollars in loan proceeds from private U.S. lenders to Mexican business owners and causing multi-million dollar losses to Ex-Im Bank who guaranteed or insured those loans based on false applications and support documentation submitted by Parker. The indictment also charges Parker with defrauding lenders in transactions not insured or guaranteed by the Ex-Im Bank.
The indictment further alleges that Parker attempted to evade paying taxes owed in calendar years 2003 and 2004 by disguising account transfers of $588,000 and $816,720.55, respectively. Parker allegedly claimed the money was used to purchase equipment being exported to Mexico when in fact, he used the $588,000 to purchase a house in Dallas, Texas, and the $816,720.55 to purchase two Ferrari automobiles and one Bentley automobile for himself. He also funneled money to relatives, all from nominee accounts. Furthermore, the indictment alleges that he under-reported his actual income on his 2003 and 2004 tax returns.
In all, Parker is charged with conspiracy, nine counts of wire fraud, two counts of use of a false document, 12 counts of money laundering, two counts of tax evasion, and two counts of filing a false income tax return. The indictment also seeks the criminal forfeiture of his San Antonio residence at 407 E. Wildwood Dr. and his 2004 GMC Hummer H2, plus a monetary judgement in the amount of $10 million representing proceeds obtained directly or indirectly as a result of Parker’s alleged scheme.
While an indictment is only a formal accusation of criminal conduct and not evidence of guilt, rarely does the US Attorney’s office lose a case like this. More than likely this will be an open and shut case. The government may not get a conviction on all charges, but they will get a conviction. Considering the recency of the indictment, my guess is that Parker will use his resources to secure legal help in reaching a plea agreement that will minimize his prison time. Although Parker’s lawyer, John Pinckney, said Parker denies the allegations and wants a jury trial. If convicted he will likely spend substantial time in federal prison.
Parker has been the target of the FBI and criminal investigators of the Internal Revenue Service over more than $163 million in loans backed by the Export-Import Bank of the United States. The bank is a little-known federal agency that is supposed to help American companies export their products by backing high-risk loans to foreign businesses that are supposed to buy the products. It works with some private commercial lenders to get the loans and has to pay with taxpayer funds if the borrower defaults. Court records allege millions of dollars of loans handled through Parker defaulted and the bank had to cover them.
“I have been calling for a (Congressional) investigation because there is ample evidence that hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money is simply disappearing from the Export-Import Bank as they appear to be guaranteeing loans to businesses that don’t exist,” said Congressman Jeb Hensarling of Dallas. “A lot of money was provided to companies and they never, ever repaid the loans. The bottom line is this a mess, it deserves a full investigation. I don’t know of the particulars of the case in San Antonio, but it is further evidence of federal program that has run amok and needs accountability and an investigation.”
“It started out as a well-intentioned program… but there is no oversight, like a board of directors in private (banking), to ensure that things aren’t hinky,” said David Williams, vice president of policy for Washington-D.C.-based watchdog Citizens Against Government Waste. “The federal government has been notorious about its lack of oversight. The last thing we need is a corporate welfare program that has no oversight on it.”
Every choice has a consequence. As a white collar crime and business ethics speaker, I speak from first hand experience about the truth about consequences. Reality is – no one escapes the consequences of their choices. While Parker may have looked good for a time and avoided the consequences – he did not avoid the consequences all together. If convicted Parker will find that prison is no fun and likely will be facing many years plus substantial restitution for his conviction. Serving time will prove to be a dramatic change from his prior activities. You do reap what you sow.
If anyone reading has any background on PARKER – feel free to comment as I study the behaviors and backgrounds of those indicted for white collar crime.
White Collar Crime Speaker – Chuck Gallagher – signing off…