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Tuesday, February 19 2019 @ 02:51 PM UTC

Fugitive Extradited From Panama

Crime & Punishment ( - BIRMINGHAM, AL - RICHARD E. BUSCH, JR., 64, was extradited from the Republic of Panama to Birmingham, Alabama, today to face charges in a two-count indictment filed in January 2003. Busch was one of five people indicted for conspiring to sell unregistered securities that cost many victims thousands of dollars. He will remain in federal custody and appear in U.S. District Court on Monday, April 2nd, for an initial appearance. "You can run and you can hide, but eventually we will work through extradition issues with foreign countries, and bring U.S. fugitives back to face our judicial process," stated U.S. Attorney Alice H. Martin. "We welcome this fugitive back to Alabama and will resume our prosecution efforts at his Monday Court appearance. We are pleased for the many victims to have him in custody." The indictment charges that James Michael Hanks, Richard E. Busch, Jr., Jacques Latourette, R. Stephen Bowden, and Brian Burgdorf conspired to sell unregistered securities through an investment fund known as "the Millennium Fund." The conspirators schemed to induce victims to invest in a series of Panamanian foreign foundations and international business corporations established in the investors' names. A forfeiture count is included in the indictment which seeks the criminal forfeiture of all funds derived from Busch's alleged criminal conduct. Such forfeitable assets include, but are not limited to, an aggregate sum of $10,000,000. (more)

The maximum sentence for conspiring to sell unregistered securities is five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

"The United States Marshal Service ( USMS ) has been pursuing Dr. Busch since April 2000, after a bench warrant was issued when Dr. Busch failed to comply with a civil order issued by U.S. District Court Judge Edwin Nelson. On two recent occasions the international branch of USMS traveled to Panama to work with local authorities to bring Dr. Busch back to the United States," stated Martin Keely, United States Marshal, Northern District Alabama. "The apprehension of Dr. Busch again is an excellent example of cooperation between United States federal agencies and International authorities, and an example of the Marshal Service's commitment to pursuing fugitives both locally and internationally."

Hanks, Bowen and Burgdorf pled guilty to the charges in the indictment and were sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Karon O. Bowdre to home detention, payment of restitution, and probation terms. Jacques Latourette remains a fugitive, and anyone with information about him should contact the U.S. Marshal Service at 205-731-0100 .

"In this age of growing international travel and globalization, no one agency and no one country can go it alone when it comes to bringing criminals and terrorist to justice," stated Carmen S. Adams, Special Agent in Charge Birmingham Field Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation. "That is why we value our law enforcement partnerships, locally and around the world, more than ever. Busch believed that by hiding in Panama he would avoid arrest and prosecution in the United States. His return should serve as a reminder that international boundaries are not a deterrent in the FBI's pursuit of justice."

Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, the Alabama Securities and Exchange Commission, and the U.S. Marshal Service are investigating this matter with the cooperation of foreign law enforcement. Assistant United States Attorney Michael W. Whisonant is prosecuting this matter on behalf of the U.S. Government.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government's burden to prove a defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.


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