Former Stagecoach Village partner gets 12.5 years
By Linda Bentley | October 8, 2008
Defendants ordered to pay over $13 million in restitution
CAVE CREEK – Kenneth Wayne Moore appeared in town a couple of years ago as Mike Zipprich’s development partner in the Stagecoach Village project.
What neither Zipprich nor the town knew was, in August 2004, Moore had been indicted by a federal grand jury in San Diego, Calif. on 36 counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to launder money, money laundering and income tax evasion for his participation in a criminal enterprise involving 14 other defendants.
All the time Moore was involved in the Stagecoach Village project, he was out on $100,000 bond with his passport relinquished.
According to the fifth superseding indictment, Moore and his co-defendants operated an enterprise that raised millions of dollars from investors for a variety of stated purposes, all of which involved or related to the insurance industry.
At the time, Moore was a shareholder, officer and director of GCCI, Inc., a construction company.
Although Moore was last to join, the enterprise had been operating since at least the 1980s and used a variety of entities through which it raised money for rented cars, residences, cell phone service, and payments to the participants.
The defendants conspired to defraud and obtain money from members of the public under false and fraudulent pretenses.
They used numerous bank accounts, Western Union terminals and money orders for multi-level transactions designed to receive and move investor money.
Participants mislead potential investors by telling them that the enterprise was raising money to obtain access to a multi-billion-dollar trust fund, the funding for the enterprise would be complete and the multi-billion-dollar trust fund would be released very soon.
Moore and his co-conspirators also told prospective investors that investments with the enterprise were secure, none of the enterprise’s investors ever lost money and investment returns would be approximately 100 percent per year.
In order to lure people to invest money, they concealed the fact that the enterprise never generated any revenue other than investor money, and, in order to create the appearance that the enterprise was operating a legitimate insurance company, participants in the enterprise directed insurance agents to give away policies and wrote personal checks (funded by investor money) to purchase single premium life insurance policies in their names and in the names of relatives.
They also neglected to mention investor money was being converted to the personal use of the participants to rent vehicles, residences and other benefits.
The enterprise eventually bilked investors out of more than $20 million.
In February 2002, according to the indictment, Moore told a victim-investor in Salt Lake City, Utah words to the effect of “people were going to get hurt” if they continued to push for returns on monies that had been invested with the enterprise.
The following month, Moore delivered a presentation to investors and prospective investors, in which he stated, “I was willing to contribute many dollars into this business because I believe in it.”
However, Moore failed to mention his contributions consisted of funds he diverted from GCCI – funds GCCI received from customers and needed for payments to GCCI’s subcontractors.
Moore went on about how “honored” he was to be a part of the enterprise and said “getting to know the heart of this organization, I have really just fallen in love with the fact that this is a genuine group of people that really want to make a difference in the world.”
Moore also neglected to mention GCCI had to file for bankruptcy after the enterprise failed to pay promised returns on the money Moore diverted from GCCI or that he was receiving approximately $500 per day, two cars and a residence, financed with investor money.
In October 2002, Moore had a conversation with an individual posing as a potential investor.
Moore told him there was “no risk” associated with investing with the enterprise and said “the actual return of profits on this thing is unbelievable.”
When asked how investors’ money was protected, Moore responded, “Oh my God, we’re bonded and reinsured ‘til we’re blue in the face.”
Then, when asked when the enterprise would “finally fund,” Moore said, “Well, uh, basically, the, uh, paperwork just, will be in New York at 4 o’clock, which is, well, it’s already in New York. So it’s shuttled over to, uh, Philadelphia, and once it gets to Philadephia, and they lodge into the, uh, into the information center. Once that’s lodged in, then it’s all over, that’s why I say. I mean, I am not even sure (laughing).”
From about December 2002 through March 17, 2003, Moore participated in meetings in which insurance agents were instructed to give away policies from Good Samaritan Life Insurance Company.
The participants used Western Union to transfer proceeds from their unlawful activity in order to disguise the nature, location, source, ownership and control of the proceeds from that activity.
Following a seven-day trial that ended May 13, 2008, a jury found Moore guilty on all 36 counts.
On Sept. 15, U. S. District Court Judge Thomas Whelan sentenced Moore to 60 months in prison on each of counts one through ten, 150 months on each of counts 11 through 35 and 60 months on count 36 to run concurrently, followed by three years of supervised release.
Ordered to pay a pro-rata share of $13,064,716.02 in restitution to the 43 victims, who were bilked out of anywhere from $1,000 to over $4 million, Moore was also required to forfeit $2.4 million obtained as a result of his criminal activity.
Moore, who has since filed a notice of appeal, is ordered to surrender to the U.S. Marshal by noon on Nov. 14 to begin serving his sentence.
Shortly after Moore was convicted in May, Zipprich filed a UCC lien against Moore and his wife Susan.
Photo caption: Ken Moore, representing Stagecoach Village at the March 6, 2006 town council meeting, complained about not having a grading permit yet. Asking for “honesty,” Moore said, “We’re here to do a good job.” Moore was sentenced last month to 12.5 years in federal prison for his participation in a criminal enterprise.
Photo by Linda Bentley