Archive for March 14th, 2013

Deal with USA: Hendler To Plead Guilty to Wire Fraud and Money Laundering

Woodstock businessman Paul Hendler has entered into a plea deal agreement with the United States of America regarding two separate charges of  a)wire fraud and b) monetary transactions involving criminally derived property.

Documents filed in U.S. District Court this past Monday indicate Hendler agrees to the commission of felony crimes, including the misappropriation of funds from a Dr. Paul Brown intended for a business known as JavaPop.

Hendler was facing 14 different counts of financial improprieties involving multiple businesses and individuals in Woodstock and Central Vermont. His defense attorney, Bradley Stetler — who was not available to comment when called —  had moved to sever the counts into four different trials.

As of this week, however, Hendler pledges to admit guilt to “Count 6” of a federal indictment. Count 6 involves money obtained from a Dr. Paul Brown in the amount of $140K for Hendler’s JavaPop business. Hendler apparently used 56K to pay for a home in Woodstock rather than using it for JavaPop.

Hendler will also admit guilt, as part of this week’s plea deal,  to a “Count 14” involving wire fraud. The other 12 charges against him will be dropped.

However, documents indicate he is to pay “full restitution, in amounts to be determined by the court” to JavaPop, Inc.; Green Mountain Digital; Blueberry Hill, Inc.; Christopher Lloyd; Green Chase, LLC; Gigunda Group, Inc; Ryan FitzSimons; and Craig Creelman.

As part of the plea arrangement, the Woodstock property bought with JavaPop funds, listed as  “21503 Orchard Hill Way”, will be forfeited to the government. The document reads, “Hendler agrees that the property may be forfeited immediately and that the forfeiture need not wait until he is sentenced.” The plea documents reads, “Hendler further agrees that if for any reason this criminal forfeiture cannot be accomplished the Government may at any time bring a civil forfeiture complaint against the same property.  In the event of any such filing, Hendler will not file a claim nor contest the forfeiture in any way.”

The plea agreement suggests the Court “impose a sentence that is in the lower half of the applicable Guidelines range.” On Count 6 of wire fraud, Hendler faces up to 20 years in prison and up to three years probation with up to a $250K fine.  For Count 14 , up to 10 years in prison, up to three years of probation and up to a $250K fine.

Both felony counts to which Hendler will admit guilt are specific to JavaPop, Inc. and were to be contained in one trial, according to a “Motion to Sever” filed by Hendler’s attorney in U.S. District Court earlier this year.

A date is yet to be set for Hendler’s plea hearing in Federal Court, which will be  followed by his sentencing.

(In pursuing this story, Woodstock Early Bird attempted to contact Paul Hendler, his attorney Brad Stetler, Internal Revenue Service Special Investigator Jill Webb, but was not able to get comment.)