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United States v. Bolt

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

April 3, 2015

United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee
v.
James Bolt, Defendant - Appellant

Submitted January 12, 2015.

Appeals fro United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas - Fayetteville.

For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee (14-2621): Glen R. Hines; Kyra E. Jenner, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Arkansas, Fort Smith, AR.

James Bolt, Defendant - Appellant (14-2621), Pro se, Fayetteville, AR.

For James Bolt, Defendant - Appellant (14-2621): Andrew R. Miller, Rogers, AR.

For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee (14-2623): Glen R. Hines.

James Bolt, Defendant - Appellant (14-2623), Pro se, Fayetteville, AR.

James Bolt, Defendant - Appellant (14-2623): Andrew R. Miller, Rogers, AR.

Before LOKEN, MURPHY, and MELLOY, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 389

MURPHY, Circuit Judge.

James Bolt pled guilty to mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering after identifying and claiming large amounts of unclaimed property held by the state of California. The district court[1] sentenced Bolt to 100 months after applying an enhancement for the use of sophisticated means and concluding that an upward departure was warranted based on the inadequacy of his criminal history category under the guidelines. Bolt appeals, and we affirm.

In August 2012 FBI agents began an investigation into various frauds committed by Bolt. The state of California posts information about unclaimed property on a public website, and Bolt made claims in 2011 and 2012 on unclaimed property in the state's custody. The claims were made in the name of Situs Cancer Research Center (Situs), a company which Bolt controlled.

Bolt was involved in four fraudulent schemes in the state of California. In each scheme Bolt created fraudulent donation agreements which purported to transfer the unclaimed assets from their lawful owners to Situs. In some instances Bolt created fictitious employees of the companies and signed their names; in others he forged the signatures of actual people. He also fabricated notary stamps and signed the agreements in the names of two different notaries: " T. Dashwood," an actual notary public whose notary term had expired years earlier, and " Mary J. Marquez." Subsequent investigation revealed no record of a Mary Marquez as a California notary, and the fact that the notary number Bolt attributed to Marquez had been issued to another notary who never activated it. Bolt used interstate mail and wire systems to transmit the fraudulent documents to California. After receiving the ...


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