Plea deal in works for Anchorage man accused of multi-million dollar wire fraud
Garrett Elder appears before federal judge, facing possible 20-year sentence
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Garrett Elder, the Anchorage man accused of carrying out a multi-million dollar fraud, made his first appearance before a judge on Thursday.
The 30-year-old Elder did not have anything to say when he entered the federal courthouse in Anchorage just before 10 a.m. on Thursday. He sat next to his court-appointed attorney during the arraignment before Chief Magistrate Judge Matthew Scoble.
The United States Department of Justice and the Alaska Division of Banking and Securities have both alleged that Elder — through his companies Tycoon Trading and Daily Bread Fund LLC — bilked more than 130 investors out of millions of dollars.
Elder is accused of wire fraud by the federal government, which claims that he took money from investors and lost most of it, then provided the alleged victims with fraudulent statements indicating their investments had earned significant profits.
Assistant United States Attorney Michael J. Heyman described Elder as being cooperative since the investigation began and told the judge that Elder has agreed to help find any remaining assets. The two sides expect to work out a plea deal.
Scoble set a hearing on the potential deal for April 14 at 2 p.m.
Heyman told the court the deal could still fall through, but Elder waived his right to demand a grand jury investigation and indictment. Heyman said that is another positive signal a deal is likely to finalize.
The judge released Elder under the condition that he forfeit his passport and not leave Alaska without permission. Elder answered several questions from the judge, but turned down a chance to ask questions or make any statements.
Elder ran his business from a location on Old Seward Highway. Justice Department filings in the case say Elder took $30 to $34 million from more than 130 investors and lost about $25 million. Most of his alleged victims are from Alaska. The filing also says that despite losing money, Edler used some of the proceeds to purchase real estate, a boat, vehicles, bicycles, a camper, tools and jewelry.
The courtroom overflowed with alleged victims and their supporting family members. Scoble moved the April court session to the largest courtroom available to handle the large audience expected.
Elder faces a maximum possible sentence of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and may have to pay restitution.
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