A jury trial against a Franklin man accused of a $20 million mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering scheme began Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Nashville with testimony from financial executives and a Christian music performer.
Richard Olive, president and executive director of National Foundation of America, is accused in the massive fraud scheme. He founded the nonprofit corporation in January 2006 “to provide charitable and humanitarian aid through various philanthropic causes.” It offered financial instruments to financial advisers who could make them available to their clients for various tax advantages, prosecutors said.
According to the indictment, listing various allegations, Olive began scheming to defraud annuity owners and others by offering and selling “investments contracts labeled as NFOA’s ‘Installment Plan Agreement’’ by making “various misrepresentations and material omissions with the intent to defraud.”
He is accused of providing financial statements from NFOA dating from 2003 and 2004 even though the company wasn’t formed until two years later. He is also accused of representing NFOA as a nonprofit while its application to be a nonprofit was pending. The application was later denied in February 2008, according to the indictment.
Olive is also accused of acquiring approximately $20 million from the scheme, which he “took to further the scheme and for his and others’ personal benefit,” according to the indictment.
Kenny Marks, a Christian musician, testified Tuesday in court that he was an “uncompensated employee” of NFOA and that he helped developed postcards, brochures and flyers about NFOA that were sent out to financial advisers.
Marks testified that he did not mail the postcards and that he didn’t know who did. He also testified that he didn’t hold any “ownership interest” in NFOA during his employment there.
Olive allegedly sent faxes to further the scheme, perpetrating wire fraud.
The government alleges he converted some of the funds to purchase a condominium in Las Vegas for more than $640,000. Marks testified that while he was waiting to be paid for his work at the foundation, Olive purchased a new truck and a boat. Marks testified that when he asked Olive if the purchases indicated he would be paid soon, he was fired a day or two later.
Olive has been free on a $20,000 bond since his arrest in March 2012.
Amanda Gambill is with the Seigenthaler News Service — MTSU. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.