Man Who Posed As Fraud Investigator And Blew Up His Own Mailbox Convicted In Bizarre Bid To Extort Ponzi Scheme Victims To Pay Him For Information

A Washington state man has been convicted of nine federal felonies in a bizarre case in which he attempted to fleece Ponzi scheme victims by blowing up his own mailbox and taking guns and bomb-making components to Atlanta.

Kevin W. Williams, 45, of Chehalis, was found guilty of three counts of wire fraud, extortion, possession of a firearm without a serial number, destruction of a letter box, making a false official statement and two counts of possession of an unregistered firearm. The unregistered firearms included a pipe bomb and a zip gun, federal prosecutors said.

Williams’ plot began in 2007 and featured a claim that he was an investigator who knew where the loot from a $90 million Ponzi scheme in Greater Atlanta had been hidden, prosecutors said.

In a bid to make his claims sound credible, Williams, an unemployed logger, blew up his mailbox with a homemade bomb. He apparently reasoned that Ponzi victims and attorneys involved in the case would give him money if they came to believe his information was so valuable that someone tried to maim him to make him turn silent, prosecutors said.

Williams was slightly injured in the mailbox detonation that he arranged with an accomplice, prosecutors said. After the mailbox exploded, emergency responders were summoned to make the story more plausible.

The trouble with the story, prosecutors said, was that the “blast was so powerful that Williams would have been badly injured if it had occurred as he described. He was checked at the hospital and released the same day having suffered only a few minor scratches on his forehead and ringing in his ears as injuries.”

With no one willing to pay him for his purported information, Williams dialed up the scheme, prosecutors said.

First, he sent emails “with a threatening tone,” prosecutors said.

And then Williams traveled to Atlanta for the Ponzi trial.

“He was arrested by law enforcement with a variety of guns, ammunition and explosive components in his car,” prosecutors said. “Following that arrest, one of Williams’ cohorts contacted law enforcement, and admitted lying to the police about Williams being the victim of the mail box bomb.

Assisting in the probe were the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) and the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department.

The case was prosecuted by the office of U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan of the Western District of Washington.

Williams’ step-mother was a victim of the Atlanta-area scheme, prosecutors said.

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7 Responses to “Man Who Posed As Fraud Investigator And Blew Up His Own Mailbox Convicted In Bizarre Bid To Extort Ponzi Scheme Victims To Pay Him For Information”

  1. One of my biggest fears has been that one day someone who got taken in one of these massive Ponzi’s would take matters into their own hands. This is the risk the people who run these scams never take into considertaion when putting these Ponzi’s together.

    While I am glad none has happened to date, it is just a matter of time until it does happen. When people get desperate, they do desperate things.

    I have seen more postings of late on the financial forums of people expressing bodily harm to the perps, or encouraging others to do bodily harm to the perps. It seems to be esculating, and my fear is one day it will become a reality other than just words.

    I think it one of the reasons why Andy, Busby, Garner have been keeping a very low profile of late. All of Andy’s letters are not you are the greatest, we love you, we support you mantra; but have been if I find you I will physically do bodily harm to you.

    Makes you wonder what this person would have done if he had come face-to-face with the perp of this scam without law enforcement being around, doesn’t it?

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  2. Quick note:

    Story on shakedown bid in different Ponzi scheme. Perpetrators posed as federal agents:

    http://patrickpretty.com/2010/02/08/3-plead-guilty-in-bizarre-shakedown-bid-in-anthony-vassalloeimt-ponzi-case-1-pleads-to-conspiracy-to-impersonate-an-officer/

    Story on alleged murder-for-hire bid by Ponzi schemer extradited from Panama to United States.

    http://patrickpretty.com/2009/11/19/breaking-news-prosecutors-allege-ponzi-murder-plot-jeffrey-lane-mowen-accused-of-soliciting-prisoner-to-kill-witnesses-in-multimillion-dollar-case-against-him/

    Story on woman who allegedly took gun to office of alleged Texas financial fraudster:

    http://patrickpretty.com/2009/12/23/sec-moves-against-triton-financial-after-woman-with-gun-showed-up-at-firms-texas-office-to-demand-refund-alleged-fraud-scheme-embarrasses-nfl-heisman-trophy-winners-pga-champions-tour/

    Story on shots allegedly fired at a home occupied by family members of alleged Ponzi schemer Tzvi Erez:

    http://patrickpretty.com/2010/01/05/developing-story-family-of-alleged-ponzi-schemer-in-canada-targeted-with-death-threats-bullets-fired-at-home/

    Story on alleged Ponzi schemer Wayne McLeod, who killed himself after SEC exposed his 20-year scam targeting federal agents:

    http://patrickpretty.com/2010/07/01/wayne-mcleod-becomes-subject-of-fbi-probe-agency-asks-victims-witnesses-to-come-forward-2/

    Alleged oil and gas Ponzi schemer kills self:

    http://patrickpretty.com/2010/08/30/bulletin-ponzi-suspect-kills-self-new-york-newspaper-reports-ashvin-zaveri-was-implicated-in-35-million-swindle/

    Ponzi schemer kills himself in church lot:

    http://patrickpretty.com/2010/04/09/accountant-for-ponzi-scheme-suspect-who-shot-himself-in-church-lot-indicted-in-tennessee-mark-s-riddle-charged-with-defrauding-investors/

    Two-time Ponzi schemer hangs self:

    http://patrickpretty.com/2010/04/02/ponzi-suspect-michael-greenberg-commits-suicide-police-say-florida-man-stood-accused-of-bilking-parents-investors-banks-in-new-scheme-that-emerged-after-prison-release/

    Ponzi victim kills self:

    http://patrickpretty.com/2009/12/21/shocking-a-ponzi-scheme-suicide-in-canada-a-ponzi-scheme-death-sentence-reported-in-china/

    Now-convicted Ponzi schemer tries to kill self:

    http://patrickpretty.com/2010/06/13/ponzi-operator-d-j-harriett-pleads-guilty-tells-judge-he-attempted-suicide-during-schemes-collapse-and-also-is-suffering-from-cancer/

    Patrick

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  3. Totally forgot about some of these, but I was thinking more of the members who lost money rather than the ones who were running them. Thanks for the reminder.

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  4. So, is this story is really about Guenther? Seems like something he’d do being the attention whore he is.

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  5. Very true Lynndel,

    ASD held many rallies and the earlier ones accepted cash and had few if no limits to the amount invested. That made it very attractive to people who didnt enjoy the best relationships with the IRS and other authorities. As with most ponzi schemes, it highly likely that Andy Bowdoin and friends have upset some of the wrong people

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  6. WishfulThinking, correct and that’s where the Money Laundering charges originated. Plus, if memory serves, the secret Service has not deposit records showing the cash actuall being deposited into Andy’s accounts. At least, that’s the rumors. I don’t doubt the validity of that rumor, though. Andy has money hidden and is using it to pay his lawyers and to live high on the hog with others money. Same thing he has done for years, after all, he IS a conman!!

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  7. WEll, recalling that one of ASD’s biggest CASH earners was the Las Vegas Rally and that sitings of buckets of cash have been reported from all the rallies, including Miami and Chicago, it certainly paints a picture of another possible source of trouble for Andy Bowdoin. No wonder he keeps appealing. Prison might not be the safest place for him, if the mafia movies we have all seen have any truth to them.

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