Men Indicted in Construction
Escrow Fraud Scheme
Georgia (FBI) — Edgar J. Beaudreault, Jr., 60, of Alpharetta,
Georgia, Howard A. Sperling, 43, of San Diego, California,
and Robert B. Surles, 62,
City, Colorado, have been indicted by a federal grand jury on multiple charges
relating to a scheme to defraud.
charges that from August 2003 through January 2004, Beaudreault,
Sperling and Surles conspired to devise and execute a scheme
to defraud Cornell Corrections of California, Inc., a private
company that operates corrections facilities for governmental
units. In June of 2003, Cornell Corrections contracted to have
a corrections facility built in Canon City, CO for $13 million.
The $13 million purchase price was to be held in an escrow
account until the facility was completed.
further charges that in August of 2003, Beaudreault, Sperling
and Surles induced Cornell Corrections to transfer its $13
million to an account in Atlanta controlled by Beaudreault,
by falsely representing to Cornell that the account was an
escrow account that was administered by a reputable bank. Upon
receipt of Cornell Corrections’ $13 million, Beaudreault,
Sperling and Surles wire transferred the majority of Cornell’s
$13 million to other accounts, to be used for their own purposes.
The indictment charges 20 counts of wire fraud and one count
of conspiracy. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years
in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for each count. In determining
the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States
Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate
sentencing ranges for most offenders.
the public are reminded that the indictment contains only allegations.
A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will
be the government’s burden to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond
a reasonable doubt at trial.
is being investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau
of Investigation. Assistant
United States Attorneys Bernita B. Malloy and David E. McClernan
are prosecuting the case.