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More Guilty Pleas in Mattoon

Posted By: hobie
Date: Sunday, 25-Mar-2001 12:37:39
www.rumormill.news/7832

In Response To: Dubya Tonight, OT&T Tomorrow (hobie)

March 21, 2001

Two defendants enter guilty pleas

BY CARL WALWORTH

City Editor

URBANA - A local minister and the sister of a former local construction company owner pleaded guilty in federal court on Tuesday to roles in the Omega Trust and Trading case.

They became the second and third defendants to enter a guilty plea, all of whom have connections to one or more of the lead defendants.

Franklin L. Myers, 66, of Mattoon pleaded guilty to conducting monetary transactions with proceeds of illegal activity. Susan Engel Hoehne, 44, of McAlester, Okla., also pleaded guilty to conducting monetary transactions with proceeds of illegal activity. A charge of money laundering conspiracy against both defendants is to be dropped at sentencing hearings scheduled for July.

On Monday, Jerry Wilson of Galena, whose father, Billie Wilson, also is a lead defendant in the Omega operation, pleaded guilty to mail fraud and money laundering conspiracy.

Myers, Jerry Wilson and Hoehne may receive a "downward departure" on the federal sentencing guidelines if they cooperate with investigators and testify truthfully at the trial.

Myers was a friend of Clyde Hood, who is accused of creating and operating the Mattoon-based offshore investment program. Billie Wilson, Hood and Hoehne's brother, Chris Engel, are among the defendants in jail awaiting trial. Chris Engel operated a now-defunct construction company that was involved in many projects prosecutors say were built with illegally obtained money.

Omega was promoted as an offshore investment program in which a $100 "unit" could yield $5,100 in about nine months. The defendants are accused of various roles, from soliciting and collecting money to using it to develop businesses and finance homes.

The guilty pleas reduce to 16 the number of remaining defendants.

"I make no excuses, " Myers told Judge Michael McCuskey. "I'm sorry for what I done."

Myers said he was approached by Hood in April 1994 to conduct financial transactions as a "power of attorney" because Hood was busy. Myers agreed the transactions totaled between $3.5 million and $6 million at bank accounts in his and Hood's name at First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust, and the Community First Credit Union. One of the transactions Myers was asked to confirm on Tuesday involved a transfer of $116,000 to Dave Cline, a relative of Hood's, for a new home.

On questioning from McCuskey, Myers said he knew that sort of transaction wasn't related to any sort of legitimate investment program. "I saw the name Omega on there several times," Myers said of the deposits.

Prosecutors told Myers if he cooperates, they will recommend a sentence in the "middle to low" end of the sentencing guideline. The maximum prison sentence for the offense is 10 years, but the guidelines vary depending on factors such as prior records.

Hoehne said she deposited many checks from Omega investors signed by Hood and Michael Kodosky at the request of her brother, who told her the checks dealt with investments. But Hoehne said she had questions, and knew some things were wrong, particularly when her brother financed a new building for her Santa Fe Insurance Agency and charged no interest.

Hoehne agreed the deposits she made in her business account for her brother totaled nearly $1.6 million between March and September 1999.

Prosecutors described Hoehne's role as between a "minimal" role and "minor" role. Her lawyer maintains it was a minimal role.

Hoehne's bank account was used to conceal the source of the funds, prosecutors said, and she sent checks back to Mattoon in different amounts, including a $42,000 cashier's check she testified about at the hearing Tuesday that eventually financed property in Charleston. Like Myers, she said checks she deposited were made out to Omega and signed by either Hood or Kodosky.

The sentencing for Hoehne is set for July 20. Myers' sentencing is scheduled for July 13.

Prosecutor Esteban Sanchez said "yes" when asked if he anticipates more guilty pleas, but wouldn't speculate on when they might be entered.

-----




RMN is an RA production.

Articles In This Thread

Dubya Tonight, OT&T Tomorrow
hobie -- Tuesday, 27-Feb-2001 09:39:39
Dark Angel / Light Weight
vonMonke -- Tuesday, 27-Feb-2001 22:38:26
Re: Dark Angel / Light Weight
hobie -- Wednesday, 28-Feb-2001 04:39:04
Re: Dark Angel / Light Weight
vonMonke -- Wednesday, 28-Feb-2001 08:22:51
I Think My Knee Jerked A Little
vonMonke -- Wednesday, 28-Feb-2001 09:00:38
Re: Dark Angel / Light Weight
hobie -- Wednesday, 28-Feb-2001 10:44:03
OT&T: McNabb likely to defend, Fed expert witness
hobie -- Thursday, 1-Mar-2001 14:36:31
McNabb to Defend in Mattoon OT&T Case
hobie -- Saturday, 17-Mar-2001 18:21:31
More Guilty Pleas in Mattoon
hobie -- Sunday, 25-Mar-2001 12:37:39
2 More Plead Guilty in Mattoon OT&T Case
hobie -- Friday, 6-Apr-2001 17:03:51
Clyde & Pat Hood Plead Guilty in OT&T Case
hobie -- Wednesday, 11-Apr-2001 17:35:37
OT&T Case Moves to Springfield Courthouse
hobie -- Friday, 13-Apr-2001 14:22:57
11th OT&T guilty plea, jury selection starts Tues.
hobie -- Saturday, 28-Apr-2001 05:38:38
OT&T Trial Goes Back to Urbana, 3 More Pleas
hobie -- Thursday, 3-May-2001 08:04:39
OT&T Defendant Speaks of Government Threats
hobie -- Wednesday, 9-May-2001 16:11:38
OT&T: MICHAEL KODOSKY SEEKS HONEST MEDIA ATTENTION
hobie -- Thursday, 10-May-2001 11:37:40
Re: OT&T: MICHAEL KODOSKY - CHANGE OF PLAN
hobie -- Friday, 11-May-2001 16:56:04
OT&T: Continuance Delays Mattoon Case
hobie -- Friday, 25-May-2001 04:39:29
OT&T: Calif Woman Goes on Trial in Omega Case
hobie -- Monday, 11-Jun-2001 14:56:30
OT&T: Diamond Trial Continues, 'Quadrillions'
hobie -- Tuesday, 19-Jun-2001 15:43:29
OT&T: Investors Testify, Say Still Trust Diamond
hobie -- Tuesday, 26-Jun-2001 13:38:10
OT&T: Diamond Found Guilty on All Eight Counts
hobie -- Friday, 6-Jul-2001 10:45:06
OT&T: 2 More Plead Guilty, Final Trial Begins Wed.
hobie -- Tuesday, 10-Jul-2001 17:47:09
OT&T: Hung Jury / Mistrial, in Turner Case
hobie -- Friday, 27-Jul-2001 15:44:12
OT&T: Turner Found Guilty on 1 Charge in Retrial
hobie -- Saturday, 25-Aug-2001 01:55:25

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AN EXPLANATION OF THE FACTIONS