Local Army captain indicted for wire, mail fraud
Published: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 5:59 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 5:59 p.m.
Gainesville attorney and Army captain Michael Benjamin Crowder has been indicted on multiple counts of wire and mail fraud involving a coin and precious metals business he operates out of his home, according to Pamela C. Marsh, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
Crowder, 35, a U.S. Army captain judge advocate general who is currently stationed in Ft. Sill, Okla., appeared in U.S. District Court in Gainesville on the indictment charging him with defrauding customers of more than $700,000 by offering to sell them rare coins and precious metals but never delivering the goods, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Crowder is scheduled for trial on Aug. 20 before U.S. District Judge Mark Walker.
Authorities say Crowder owned and operated M&H Coins and Precious Metals LLC from his Gainesville home while attending the University of Florida Levin College of Law under the Army's Funded Legal Education Program.
The indictment alleges that Crowder defrauded customers of more than $700,000 by offering to sell rare coins and precious metals, receiving payment from the customers, and then not delivering the items. No money has been recovered, the Department of Justice said.
Crowder is facing a maximum sentence of 20 years' imprisonment, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release upon completion of his sentence, authorities said.
The case was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg McMahon, the Department of Justice said.