Prosecutors seek to block documents from advisor's fraud trial
BRENTWOOD — Prosecutors want a judge to block a former Exeter financial advisor from introducing what they are calling fraudulent documents into evidence as they prepare to put him on trial for allegedly bilking two elderly New Hampshire widows of $1 million.
Frederick V. McMenimen is asking a judge to deny the prosecution’s request as he prepares for his trial on federal charges, which include money laundering, tax evasion and interstate transportation of goods taken by fraud.
McMenimen was also facing a civil lawsuit in Rockingham County Superior Court by one of the women, but that lawsuit was ultimately halted by a judge after McMenimen filed for bankruptcy. Prosecutors tried to upend his Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but that case was ultimately dismissed last September.
The documents that prosecutors wanted barred in the criminal case include letters and other documents McMenimen allegedly wrote to one of his victims, Susan Wagstaff, of Hampton Falls.
“McMenimen did not fraudulently induce payments from the alleged victims,” his lawyer, Bjorn Lange said in court papers. “He submits that the payments at issue were deferred compensation for extensive services he rendered to them and their families, including financial management and estate planning.”Prosecutors argue that McMenimen, a former Exeter High School hockey coach who went by “Rick”, allegedly carried out his ruse while working as a salesman for an insurance and investment brokerage firm.
His two victims were longtime family friends, who believed they were entrusting their life savings to McMenimen for investments that bore high returns, federal prosecutors said.
The women wrote checks to what they believed was a legitimate investment company operated by McMenimen.The company, PSB, actually was shorthand for a defunct retail sporting goods business — Slapshot Sports Shop — once owned and operated by McMenimen, according to the indictment.
Between Oct. 27, 2008, and October 2011, McMenimen is accused of inducing the women to write 17 checks payable to PSB for roughly $1,033,500, according to prosecutors.The trial is expected to begin the week of Oct. 21.