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Sacramento, Calif.- United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that a federal grand jury returned an indictment today charging John George Coulter Jr., 79, of Colorado Springs, Colo., formerly of Placer County, Calif., with 12 counts of mail fraud and four counts of engaging in monetary transactions in criminally derived property.

The indictment alleges that Coulter was the operational manager for a group of investors who owned property in Elverta. Coulter was to prepare 66 acres of approximately 1800 acres to sell to residential and commercial builders. Coulter made “capital calls” for payment of the real estate loans, property taxes, and other legitimate expenses and is alleged to have defrauded the investors of nearly $2 million by inflating the amounts due. According to the indictment, Coulter routed these funds through the investment’s savings and checking accounts for payment of the legitimate expenses, and ultimately to accounts he personally controlled. He used the excess funds to make personal expenditures and purchase personal investments.

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This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Samantha S. Spangler is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Coulter faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison for each count of mail fraud and 10 years in prison for each count of engaging in monetary transactions. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

The charges are only allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Coulter has been summoned to appear for arraignment before a United States Magistrate Judge.

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