Fraud Charges Dropped on a Cedar Rapids Attorney, Businessman

By Trish Mehaffey

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Charges involving a fraudulent investment scheme against a 66-year-old Cedar Rapids attorney and businessman were dismissed without prejudice last week in a federal California court.

Richard Pundt, also the president and CEO of Enlighten Technologies Inc., a private legal communications network, was charged in a 10-count indictment with three counts of mail fraud, six counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy. The indictment was filed August 2008 in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

David Bybee, senior trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, stated in a court document filed Aug. 4, that new circumstances came to light and the government seeks to dismiss the indictment against Pundt without prejudice "in the interest of justice."

Bybee said if the court wanted additional information the government would provide it "in camera"- in private with the court and out of public's view.

The indictment claimed Pundt and others promoted a fraudulent high-yield investment scheme. Pundt and other are accused of telling undercover agents they could place them in a "safe... no risk, secret program." The agents were told they would have to undergo a "compliance" process and be subjected to "due diligence" scrutiny by the Central Intelligence Agency, according to the indictment.

Pundt always maintained his innocence. He told KCRG-TV9 in August 2008 that there was "absolutely no basis for the allegations" and said he was a "victim" in this case.

"It is a great felling to finally be fully exonerated of the wrongful charges against me," Pundt said in a press release Tuesday."

Pundt said he will seek appropriate review of the process by the proper authorities of the "many deficiencies that occurred and which resulted in this unfounded charge."

Pundt will have a press conference 2 p.m. Thursday at Dublin City Restaurant regarding this dismissal.

Pundt is a former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent and former Linn County Attorney.
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