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Federal fraud indictment for ex-state assemblyman

Ex-State Assemblyman Terrence Patrick Goggin served as CEO of Metropolitan Coffee & Concessions (MC2), which ran a chain of Peet's Coffee & Tea shops located in BART stations in the bay area. Now he faces a grand jury indictment for fraud charges, including wire fraud and money-laundering.

Facts of the case against Goggin

Goggin sought to expand the coffee chain in 2007. He obtained BART permits to build storefronts at various stations, including the Civic Center station, according to officials. From 2007 to 2014, Goggin actively recruited investors into the project. Court documents allege that Goggin sold investors on the promise of "a reliable, high-rate of return" on their investment.

Unfortunately, he failed to disclose to the investors that MC2 had financial troubles or that the Civic Center station shop was not a done-deal with BART. The company went bankrupt in 2015 and an unrelated company bought the BART permits.

What did Goggin do wrong?

Lakeshore Partners LLC invested $585,000 in the Civic Center shop. Instead of putting the money toward the Civic Center shop, however, Goggin used the money for a project in New York City, which had not been approved. Officials also claim Goggin used the money for personal use, including transferring money to a girlfriend in Thailand.

Officials have charged him with four counts of wire fraud and nine counts of money-laundering. Wire fraud can consist of any type of scam that is done over "interstate wires," such as a telephone call or even a television screen. If the purpose is to defraud, it violates federal law. It may also violate state law. In this case, any phone conversation Goggin had regarding the investment scheme may qualify.

The term "money laundering" describes a process that can take many forms. The purpose of the process is to pass money that came from a criminal source through an entity to make it look like it came from a legitimate source. Prosecutors in Goggin's case must show that Goggin did this with the money he solicited for investment.

The grand jury indictment

The indictment simply means that the grand jury found evidence that Goggin may have committed a crime. The grand jury does not decide guilt or innocence. Goggin is presumed innocent until the prosecutor can prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at a criminal trial. The U.S. Attorney brought the case in Oakland, California. The FBI and IRS combined forces to investigate this case. Goggin could receive up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, if convicted on wire fraud. He could receive up to ten years and a fine of $250,000 for money laundering.

There is no word yet on what legal action Lakeshore partners LLC may take against Goggin. Victims of fraud do have recourse and resources available to help them recover for their losses.

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