Indicted man told of secret group
A man accused of defrauding investors, including Oregon residents, out of more than $900,000 told victims that he represented a secret, ultra-rich group that had included world leaders John F. Kennedy, a pope and Queen Victoria.
The man also told investors that he kept more than $800 billion in assets in a Hong Kong vault, according to a federal indictment.
FBI agents based out of Bend brought Richard Macadangdang Sales, 68, back to the United States from Indonesia earlier this month, after a federal grand jury in Eugene indicted Sales in December on four counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering.
The indictment, unsealed Tuesday, provides new details into bizarre claims that Sales allegedly made to investors.
According to the six-page indictment, between 2011 and 2013, Sales told investors that he was the “commissaris” of a secret group of world leaders whose members had included former President Kennedy, Pope John Paul VI, former Prime Minister of Israel Golda Meir, former Chinese leader Chang Kai Shek, Queen Victoria “and many others.”
Sales told investors that the United Nations operated as a front for the group’s financing of thousands of “projects” around the world, according to the indictment.
Sales promised investors quick returns of up to 100 percent, according to the indictment.
The indictment cites four instances in which four Oregon investors allegedly transferred money to Sales. In 2012, one victim wrote him a check for $15,000, and in 2013, two victims each made wire transfers of $20,000 to him, and one victim made a $16,000 wire transfer.
The indictment identifies each victim by their initials. The deposits were all made to a Bank of America account, according to the indictment.
Many details about the case are unclear, including whether Sales lived in Oregon before moving overseas, how many victims invested funds with him and if all of his victims were based in Oregon or a wider area. It’s also not clear whether Sales is represented by an attorney.
Sales made an initial appearance before a federal judge in San Francisco on Jan. 12 and is awaiting transfer to Oregon by the U.S. Marshals Service.
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon said a date for Sales’ first Oregon court appearance has yet to be set, but declined further comment.
Sales led investors, many of whom worked in the construction industry, to believe their funds would be used to build humanitarian housing projects for disaster victims in Third World countries, according to the indictment.
Sales allegedly told investors he could leverage hundreds of millions of dollars worth of U.S. Treasury notes in East Asia and the Pacific region for the projects.
Sales claimed investors could recoup up to 100 percent of their investment within two months, and secure contracts for some of the housing developments.
“Sales falsely claimed that he maintained high-level contacts in governments throughout the world, which allowed him to access the treasury notes and the unique ability to turn these assets into returns for the investors,” the indictment stated. “At various times during the scheme, Sales falsely represented that he had possession of ‘authentic, legal and registered assets’ totaling more than $3 billion; that he had over $26 billion in U.S. Treasury notes in his possession; and that he had ‘personally in a vault in Hong Kong’ more than $800 billion in ‘authenticated assets.’?”
Sales was deported from Indonesia on Jan. 11, nearly a month after the grand jury indictment was filed in Eugene.
Assisted by the Indonesian National Police and Indonesian Immigration, the Bend FBI agents traveled to the country and met Sales as he was being deported, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The agents escorted Sales back to the country and arrested him after arriving on U.S. soil.
The case has been assigned to the office of U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken.
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