A federal grand jury sitting in Charlotte, NC has returned a criminal indictment against Hal H. Brown Jr., 69, charging him with securities fraud, wire fraud and transactional money laundering, for allegedly orchestrating a $13.7 million investment scheme.
According to allegations contained in the indictment, from at least 2012 through September 2019, Hal fraudulently obtained more than $13.5 million from at least 23 victims, some of whom were at, or near, retirement age, by engaging in an investment scheme through his company Oodles Inc. and its various affiliates.
As alleged in the indictment, to induce victims to invest their money, Hal falsely represented that OODLES owned hundreds of millions of dollars in intellectual property, namely family entertainment shows and movies. As part of the scheme, Hal allegedly repeatedly lied to victims about the imminent sale of those intellectual properties to various well-known media companies.
To perpetuate the fraud, the indictment alleges that Hal developed marketing material seeking investments or loans for OODLES that claimed large returns on funds invested or lent to the company. As alleged in the indictment, to convince victims the scheme was legitimate and to appease investors who sought an explanation about delays in payouts, Hal provided victims with a number of fraudulent and misleading statements and fictitious information, including fake bank statements and falsified company agreements, among others.
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Hal allegedly used a substantial part of victim money on personal expenses unrelated to purported OODLES transactions, and to perpetuate the fraud by making payments to existing investors from funds contributed by new investors, commonly referred to as “Ponzi” payments.
The FBI’s Charlotte, NC Field Office is leading the investigation.