Bismarck, ND - Karen Tyler, North Dakota Securities Commissioner, announced today that Mr. Monroe Chase of Mandan, ND was convicted in South Central District Court of seven criminal counts related to operation of a Nigerian investment scheme. Assistant Morton County State’s Attorney, Brian Grosinger handled the prosecution of the case. The criminal conviction included 2 counts of Theft of Property by Deception, 2 counts of Sale of Unregistered Securities, 2 counts of Acting as a Securities Agent without Registration, and 1 count of Securities Fraud. Each count is a Class B Felony.
According to Tyler, Monroe Chase operated an investment scheme using the Nigerian Solicitation Scam as bases to solicit investments in excess of $80,000 from unsuspecting victims. Mr. Chase used fraudulent investment contracts and his own assurances to gain the trust of the victims and convince them to invest funds in the scheme. Mr. Chase told the victims that he had contracts in place that were worth millions of dollars, but that he needed additional funds to have the contracts released and the money disbursed. The victims were told their share of the released contracts would be $1 million for each investor.
This is a new twist on an old scam, said Tyler. Typically the Nigerian scam solicitations are delivered directly to the recipient via the internet or through the mail. Mr. Chase made himself an intermediary and created agreements with investors that effectively pooled their money, indicating that the money would then be used to access the Nigerian contracts, and a return would then be paid to the investor. Of course there are no contracts, and there will be no return on investment - it’s a fraud.
This action developed in February of 2001 when one of the victims reported the activity to the North Dakota Securities Department. As a result of the information provided by the victim, a joint investigation was opened with the Mandan Police Department and a criminal referral was subsequently made to the Morton County States Attorney.
The North Dakota Securities Department extends its appreciation to the Mandan Police Department and the Morton County State’s Attorney for their cooperation and assistance in this matter.