Fake Credit Unions Answer SEC Fraud Charges
The website belonging to two credit unions that the SEC said were fake and allegedly collected more than $12.8 million in deposits has responded to the agency’s fraud complaint.
Timothy J. Coughlin, 63, of Indianapolis, was charged with misappropriating investor money to pay personal expenses, funding unrelated business expenses, and making distributions to other investors in what the SEC described as a classic Ponzi-scheme fashion.
Last week, CU Times reported the SEC’s complaint against Coughlin and also contacted Oxford Privacy Group, the website belonging to Oxford International Credit Union or Oxford International Cooperative Union, for comment.
“We just learned that Mr. Coughlin was arrested on Friday, April 11, 2014, and you should be receiving a letter from the United States Department of Justice notifying you of the same,” read an email received by CU Times. “They were unable to provide a definite time frame as to when you will receive this correspondence.”
The SEC complaint alleged that between June 2007 and December 2009, Coughlin operated Oxford International Credit Union or Oxford International Cooperative Union and collected deposits from more than 5,000 investors exceeding $12.8 million.
Approximately 3,300 of the investors were U.S. residents, with victims residing in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to the SEC.
“We are sorry but we are unable to provide direct contact information on the agents in charge of this case,” read the email from Oxford Privacy Group’s customer support division. “As soon as we receive any further updates on this matter, we will post them immediately on the back office Bulletin Board.”
The email continued, “Our prayers are with you. We hope we have answered your question. Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.”
Beginning in December 2008, Coughlin began operating a successor to Oxford International Credit Union, called Oxford International Cooperative Union, which boasted bogus investment returns on its website, Oxford Privacy Group, from its inception in late 2008 through December 2011, the SEC said.
The SEC's complaint alleged that Coughlin misappropriated at least $5.97 million and used investor money for illegitimate purposes, including $1.57 million for personal expenditures and $4.4 million to pay other investors who had requested withdrawals from their Oxford International Credit Union accounts.
Coughlin also transferred money from Oxford International Credit Union's accounts to bank accounts he controlled in the names of two relief defendants, according to the SEC.
In late 2008 and 2009, Coughlin began to deny investors' requests for withdrawals from their accounts, the SEC said. To explain his refusal to allow investors to access their funds, Coughlin falsely claimed that the Internal Revenue Service and foreign tax authorities had frozen Oxford International Credit Union and Oxford International Cooperative Union's accounts.