Judge Orders Scam Artist To Turn Over Home Or Face Jail; Defendant Played ‘Trust’ Game To Thwart Receiver
A federal judge found a man implicated in an elaborate fraud scheme in contempt of court and ordered him to turn over his Las Vegas home to a court-appointed receiver or go to jail.
It was the second time Richard C. Neiswonger was found to have been in contempt of court, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
“In April 2007, the same court held Neiswonger, his business partner William S. Reed, and their firm, Asset Protection Group, Inc., in civil contempt for violating the terms of a 1997 court order prohibiting them from deceptively promoting any ‘program,’ as that term is defined in the order, and from failing to disclose material facts to consumers,” the FTC said today.
“The courtâ€™s 2007 order banned Neiswonger from telemarketing and from selling any business opportunity program to consumers,” the agency continued. “The court subsequently entered $3.2 million judgment against Neiswonger — the amount of his ill-gotten gains — and required him to transfer the title of his Las Vegas home to a court-appointed receiver within 20 days if he failed to pay the judgment in full.”
Neiswonger engaged in gamesmanship and now faces jail, the FTC said.
“Despite Neiswongerâ€™s arguments that he had done everything he could to transfer the title, the court disagreed, leading to the contempt order announced today,” the agency said. “If Neiswonger fails to comply with the current contempt order, he could be imprisoned until he complies fully.”
U.S. District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh Jr. of Missouri minced no words in his order to Neiswonger.
“It is clear that since the inception of the present lawsuit regarding defendantâ€™s contempt of the 1997 Stipulated Final Judgment and Order for Permanent Injunction, the defendant has engaged in suspect activities regarding this property, including but not limited to, an attempt to sell the property in April 2007 (after the original Civil Contempt Order was entered invoking an asset freeze).
“He now contends that the property is held in trust (the SRN Trust), he has resigned
as a trustee under the trust, and that his wife Shannon is the only one as Trustor that can convey (or must also convey) title to the Verlaine Property,” Limbaugh said.
Limbaugh also threatened to jail Neiswonger’s wife for taking part in a game to prevent the government from seizing the home.
“Shannon Neiswonger, spouse of defendant Richard C. Neiswonger, shall immediately sign any and all documents tendered to her by the FTC and/or the Receiver to facilitate the transfer of marketable title to the residence located at 9509 Verlaine Court, Las Vegas, Nevada. Failure to comply with this Courtâ€™s order risks the finding of civil contempt and the imposition of sanctions, including but not limited to, incarceration until such time the contempt is purged,” Limbaugh ordered.
Read the judge’s order.
Read information from the FTC.