Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Kenneth Wayne McLeod

Victims

One of McLeod's victims was DEA agent Kurt Coront. As usual, Coront had met McLeod at a training session in 1998 at Lake Tahoe, Nev., where McLeod was giving a speech. A year or two later, Coront and his wife met up with McLeod to go over retirement strategies. At the time, McLeod gave normal investment advice relating to the federal Thrift Savings Plan. But later, McLeod dangled a very enticing lure before Coront: the FEBG Bond Fund. Coront thought he'd be getting a 10 percent tax-free return on his money. He started out small: the initial investments were for $11,000. Eventually, Coront told the SEC, he turned over most of his savings to McLeod, nearly a half a million dollars, monies stemming from a family inheritance and the sales of two houses.

Coront recounted, "Based in large part on what I believed to be a very profitable investment in the FEBG Bond Fun, as McLeod assured me through account statements and e-mails, I decided to retire from the DEA. As McLeod had my complete and utter trust, after I retired, I rolled over my TSP account to F&S Asset Management Group, Inc., the registered investment adviser that McLeod manages."

Though he was able to redeem $140,000 in funds from the bond, at the end of 2009, Coront's trust was broken when he asked McLeod for access to some of the funds earlier than planned.

In January 2010, Coront wrote McLeod, "My daughter is starting her own company and I am thinking about investing with her to get her started. What is the earliest I can pull out the $500,000?"

McLeod wrote back that Coront would have to wait until 2013 to get a full refund. This made Coront suspicious.

The correspondence between the two became more and more heated.

"WOW," wrote McLeod, "after 10 years of being a client and participating in the FEBG fund you are now questioning my integrity?"

He claimed: "The FEBG Fund holds the vast majority of my parents investments, as well as mine and includes 26 of Kurt's current and former employees in the DEA."

Later in the letter, McLeod raised the passive-aggression and the guilt-tripping a notch:

"I even gave you the option to liquidate after year five since you have been such great clients and friends over the years."

In early 2010, Coront fired McLeod and asked that the investment in the FEBG Bond Fund be returned. He told the government in a sworn statement, "To date, I have not received my money."

 

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