Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Mississippi grand jury indicts former Neosho/Joplin businessman on identity theft charge

A DeSoto County, Mississippi grand jury indicted a former Neosho/Joplin businessman, who only recently was released from a federal prison after serving a sentence for fraud and money laundering, on an identity theft charge.

The indictment, which was issued in January says Russell Lawrence Grundy, 54, "obtained personal identity information of a Cynthia Johnson.'

The Springfield Police Department arrested Grundy on a fugitive from out of state warrant February 2, according to Greene County Jail records.

A DeSoto County judge has ordered Grundy to appear at a March 12 hearing. His bond was set at $25,000.

Grundy's previous crimes were detailed in a news release issued by the Department of Justice following his January 30, 2020 guilty plea to two counts of wire fraud and single counts of making a false statement on a loan application and money laundering.

Grundy was the owner of several companies that focused on advanced technologies, ranging from software development to computer security to addressing the software and hardware technological needs of its clientele. Grundy’s companies included Innovative Objects, LLC, PILR Technology, LLC, Choice Technologies, LLC, Wyerless, LLC, and Audio Input, LLC.

Land O’Lakes/Nutra Blend Fraud Scheme

Grundy (through his company Innovative Objects) was contracted by Land O’Lakes, Inc., and its subsidiary, Nutra Blend, LLC, from January 2004 to Sept. 27, 2015, to create propriety software to inventory, track, and coordinate the disbursement of products. Grundy also contracted with Land O’Lakes and Nutra Blend to provide equipment and technical support for the use, upkeep, and maintenance of the software.

Grundy falsely told Land O’Lakes and Nutra Blend that third party software programs were built into that proprietary software and were essential to the successful operation of the software. Grundy claimed that some of the payments made to Innovative Objects were remitted to third party license holders. In reality, there were no third party licensee fees; instead, Grundy kept those payments for his personal or unrelated expenses.

Land O’Lakes and Nutra Blend paid more than $1.3 million in fraudulent license fees between 2012 and 2015.

Miami Nations Enterprise Fraud Scheme

Grundy engaged Miami Nations Enterprise, a subsidiary company of the Miami Nations Tribe, in negotiations to provide loans and to purchase a controlling interest in all of Grundy’s technology-based companies.

Grundy falsely told Miami Nations Enterprise that his companies had been awarded a $3.5 million contract from Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., to develop and provide information technology services. Grundy presented numerous e-mails, invoices, conditional award letters, and other documents to support his false claims. Miami Nations Enterprise loaned Grundy the money to cover the costs associated with software and hardware purchases and training necessary to obtain the $3.5 million Wal-Mart contract. Grundy admitted today that he instead used those funds for his own personal expenses, including building a new home in Charleston, South Carolina.

On Aug. 24, 2014, Miami Nations Enterprise paid an additional $2 million to purchase a 70 percent interest in Grundy’s companies.

Officials with Miami Nations Enterprise later discovered that neither Grundy nor any of his companies had been awarded any contract with Wal-Mart, and determined that the e-mails, conditional contract award, invoices, and bank deposits Grundy had used to support his claims were fraudulently created.

False Information on Loan Application

Grundy applied for three loans from UMB Bank on Oct. 17, 2014. Grundy specifically admitted that he fraudulently obtained a $5,440,800 loan by providing false information in the loan application.

Grundy falsely claimed that Land O’Lakes had agreed to a 20-year lease for warehouse space that he wanted to build using the loans he sought from the bank. Based on lease agreements provided to UMB Bank officials, Grundy claimed he would receive $18 million in future income.

Grundy admitted that he grossly exaggerated the amount of money to be paid by Land O’Lakes in order to obtain the loans from UMB. Rather than one lease agreement between Grundy and Land O’Lakes to rent the warehouses, there were two lease agreements. One lease agreement was for three years at an amount far less than claimed by Grundy. The second lease agreement was a “month-to-month” lease agreement at an even smaller amount. In reality, the true and accurate leases signed and approved by Land O’Lakes only guaranteed Grundy $540,000 in income.


Anonymous said...

Here we go again - Russell Lawrence Grundy - Stole and Defrauded Millions of Dollars from Several Businesses and Individuals - - He was Sentenced to 8-Years in Prison, but only served 3-Years. Why do we allow Criminals to get out early when we know, and it has been proven time and time again - - Jail does not Reform Criminals - - they will get out and Commit another Crime.

Court documents say he had multiple schemes to defraud financial institutions, the Miami Nations Tribe, and former clients like Land O’lakes and Nutra Blend.

Not only was he Sentenced to 8-Years, The court also ordered Grundy to pay nearly $15 million in restitution to his victims. No One will ever see that...

He should have received a Decade or more in Jail - before ever seeing the Light of Day - -

Why cannot we start being Tough on Criminals - Why do our Judges, Prosecuting Attorneys, and even Jurors - - feel the need to give these Criminals such Light Sentences - -

Hopefully he will serve additional time for Identity Theft and have to fulfil the Balance of the Eight Years from his previous Sentence.

Good Riddance - Russell Lawrence Grundy, couldn't happen to a Bigger Liar, Thief, and Fraud and Con Artist.

Mat & Michelle Clark said...

Why do these criminals believe that they will get away with their crimes?