Camden summer resident indicted on money laundering charges
Camden — Henry Fecker III, director of Camden Consulting Inc., and joint owner of a Norumbega Avenue home in Camden, has been indicted in federal court on six charges, including conspiracy to commit money laundering.
The indictment was filed in the U.S. District Court in Miami, and an arrest warrant was issued on Aug. 23 for appearance before a judge.
Three Camden police officers assisted the Federal Bureau of Investigation with taking Fecker into custody at 7 a.m. on Aug. 24 at his 1 Norumbega Ave. home.
Fecker was scheduled to appear at 2 p.m. in U.S. District Court in Portland.
The case lists the offenses as alleged conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering, obstruction of proceedings, obstruction of justice and concealment, and cover up of records in federal investigation.
According to the complaint, the "United States of America vs. Henry Fecker, III, and Steven Steiner, aka Steven Steinger," both Fecker and Steiner jointly owned residences in Ft. Lauderdale, Camden and New York City from 1994 to the day of the indictment. Fecker is the sole operator of Camden Consulting, a Florida corporation, and Steiner the sole director of SKS Consulting, also a Florida corporation, the complaint said.
The complaint said that from 1994 to 2004, a company, Mutual Benefits Corporation (MBC), with offices in Fort Lauderdale, sold fractionalized life insurance policies, or viatical investments, to the general public. Steiner was a vice president of that company, and Steiner had signatory authority on Camden Consulting accounts, the complaint said.
According to the U.S. District Court: "MBC and its employees and agents eventually defrauded approximately 30,000 investors by, among other things, misleading investors about the nature of investments, including the accuracy of life expectancies of the insureds and the ongoing and expected future expenses required to maintain the insurance policies via premium payments. New investor money was thus used to pay premiums on life insurance policies purchased by earlier investors; and as the scheme continued, more and more new investor money was required to prevent the business from collapsing. After the MBC business collapsed in 2004, investors eventually suffered more than $380 million in losses."
The complaint alleged that in 1997, Fecker opened a bank account at First Union National Bank. "Using his legal name 'Steven K. Steinger,' Steven Steiner signed a signatory form," giving him authority over funds in the account.
"From approximately 1997 through approximately December 2003, MBC transferred in excess of $10.8 million from MBC's operating account to Camden Consulting," the complaint said.
In 2004, the Securities and Exchange Commission of the U.S. sued MBC, and obtained a restraining order to halt the alleged fraud at MBC, and a receiver was appointed by the court to oversee the assets and liabilities of MBC.
In 2007, the court in the SEC fraud action ordered Steiner, Camden Consulting and SKS Consulting liable for $5 million and to pay the receiver $3.925 million.
"As of the date of the return of this indictment, only $750,000 had been paid pursuant to the April 10, 2007 court order, and approximately $3.9 million, including statutory interest, remained due....," the complaint said.
In 2002, Fecker and Steiner purchased the Camden home for $2.2 million, the complaint said, and Fecker obtained a $1 million loan from Key Bank, listing his Florida home as an asset. "Fecker paid the remainder of the purchase price, approximately $1.2 million more, with funds transferred from MBC to Camden Consulting," the complaint said.
"On or about Aug. 20, 2002, Henry Fecker signed a check on the Camden Consulting First Union account for $1 million, made payable to himself. On or about Aug. 20, 2002, Fecker deposited the $1 million check drawn on the First Union account to a recently opened account... at Camden National Bank..."
The U.S. court continued in its complaint to outline the moving of money in and between bank accounts and banks, refinancing loans, and alleges that in 2006 Fecker and Steiner used certified checks to conceal proceeds. The court also alleges fraudulent documents were used for the sale of a New York City apartment.
"Henry Fecker and Steven Steiner used funds from the 2006 refinance of the Maine vacation house and the side payments from the New York apartment to support their lavish lifestyle, including their joint living expenses, luxury automobiles, expensive furnishings, and vacations and travels," the complaint said.
The money laundering allegations issued by the court document said that Fecker and Steiner allegedly conducted "financial transactions, affecting interstate and foreign commerce, which involved the proceeds of unlawful activity, knowing that the transactions were designed in whole and in part to conceal and disguise the nature, location, source, ownership, and control of the proceeds of specified unlawful activity, and knowing that the property involved in the financial transactions represented the process of some form of unlawful activity...."
Fecker and Camden
In 2004, Fecker levied an appeal to stop the town of Camden's plan to start erosion control measures and build a public area at the foot of Marine Avenue.
The suit was filed in Knox County Superior Court. Fecker had been a vocal critic of the town's planned Marine Avenue Erosion Control Project, and contested the boundary lines between his property and the town's right-of-way where the road ends and meets Sherman's Cove.
In his suit, Fecker wanted the court to vacate the town's decision to pursue the erosion project, decide the true boundaries of Marine Avenue, and prevent the town from intruding on his property or erecting public facilities on its right-of-way.
"Because the town possesses only an easement for travel over Marine Avenue, the town lacks legal authority to perform much of the work proposed as part of the 'Marine Avenue Erosion Control Project,'" the suit stated.
The $35,000 project faced harsh criticism when it was introduced. Town planners wanted to alleviate long-standing erosion problems at the end of Marine Avenue, and beautify the shorefront and enhance public access.
Many in the neighborhood, while supportive of the erosion control, believed improving public facilities at the end of Marine Avenue would lead to increased mischief by youths using the area.
Fecker had alleged to be the victim of verbal abuse from Select Board member Sid Lindsley over Fecker's shrubbery allegedly planted in the town's right-of-way. Surveys by Fecker and the town disagreed on the right-of-way lines.
Fecker also said the town lacked the right to destroy his shrubbery unless it impeded public access, which Fecker denied. Under the town's survey, the shrubbery would be removed for the erosion project.
In his suit, Fecker also wished the court to clear the title of his property from any alleged town interests, in order to prevent any depreciation of his home's market value.
The town and Fecker entered into a consent agreement in 2005 and both parties came to terms on the right-of-way boundaries, among other details.
The agreement stipulated that the town was to use the current end of existing pavement on Marine Avenue as the "southern terminus” of the road and gradually widen the southern end of Marine Avenue to approximately 20 feet to allow for two vehicles.
A planned turnaround, which would impact Fecker’s shrubbery, was scaled back from a width of 20 feet to 15 feet, according to the agreement. The town also agreed to erect a "No Parking” sign at the eastern edge near the hedge line and slope the pavement so runoff would be directed to water collection systems on the west side of Marine Avenue.
The relocation of the shrubbery would serve to provide room for location of the turnaround, to improve sight distances and make the turnaround visible from the westerly side of Marine Avenue.