Whitefish Security CEO to plead guilty to conspiracy to defraud Goguen
The head of a Whitefish-based security firm whose ties to the city’s former police chief were recently confirmed in a complaint filed by the state Department of Justice’s oversight office has agreed to plead guilty to federal charges of defrauding local venture capitalist Michael Goguen out of millions of dollars and failed to pay taxes on the money, according to new court documents.
Matthew A. Marshall, former CEO of Amyntor Group, is scheduled to appear for a plea change hearing Nov. 10 in U.S. District Court in Missoula, where he will admit federal crimes of wire fraud, money laundering and l tax evasion, under the terms of a plea agreement filed on November 4.
U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy is presiding over the case, with U.S. Assistant Attorney Timothy Racicot serving as lead prosecutor. Marshall is represented by Justin K. Gelfand of Margulis Felfand, LLC.
In return for Marshall’s guilty pleas, prosecutors will recommend that nine additional federal charges be dismissed. The plea deal recommends that Marshall pay Goguen restitution in the amount of $ 2,355,000 for the alleged wire fraud scheme and $ 899,327 to the Internal Revenue Service for tax evasion charges. He also recommends a reduction in Marshall’s level of infringement in exchange for his acceptance of liability, although the court is not bound by any of the recommendations set out in the plea deal.
Even if Molloy agrees to the terms of the plea deal, Marshall still faces a maximum jail term of 35 years in prison and more than half a million dollars in fines. However, federal sentencing guidelines ultimately dictate the parameters of sentencing, and Molloy is not bound by any of the recommendations.
The bizarre case against Marshall first surfaced in July 2020 when he was charged with carrying out a scheme to extract millions of dollars from Goguen, a wealthy businessman and philanthropist. Prosecutors laid additional charges in a substitute indictment in July 2021, while a second substitute indictment in September further amended the charges. The case was due to be tried in December.
The indictment describes an alleged scheme which began in April 2013 in which Marshall fraudulently convinced Goguen, referred to in the documents as “John Doe” but whose identity was independently confirmed by Beacon that he was a former CIA agent and member of an elite reconnaissance force. United States Marine Corps unit. Marshall told Goguen he was “engaged in secret missions around the world” and asked him to fund an “unofficial” paramilitary mission in Mexico, according to a Nov. 4 report. offer of evidence presented by prosecutors. None of these claims are true, according to the file.
Still, Goguen agreed and wired Marshall $ 400,000 on April 25, 2013. Marshall then demanded money from Goguen for four more alleged assignments between October 2013 and March 2016 “based on Marshall’s false claims that he would use the money for the missions ”, according to the offer of proof.
“Marshall did not use the money … for any mission, in Mexico or elsewhere,” the document said. “Instead, he spent the money on personal expenses and on loans and gifts to friends and family members, among other expenses.”
In addition to Marshall’s alleged criminal wrongdoing, his relationship with Goguen had other ramifications in Whitefish, including a direct connection to former Whitefish Police Chief Bill Dial, who abruptly retired in August after headed the department for two decades. Shortly after Dial’s retirement, the state Department of Justice oversight office responsible for overseeing law enforcement training and certification in Montana, the Public Safety Officer Standards and Training Council (POST ), made damning allegations of official misconduct against him.
These allegations are supported by hundreds of text messages exchanged between Dial and Marshall which appear to show the men colluding in a retaliatory effort against Goguen, against which Dial brought a civil action in December 2019. Goguen is also the defendant in one lawsuit that Marshall filed in September 2021.
POST’s complaint against Dial accuses the former police chief of colluding with Marshall to trap fellow police officer Whitefish; falsifying information and lying to city, state and federal investigators; and authorizing Marshall, an “uncontrolled civilian with no POST certification or law enforcement credentials,” physical access to the Whitefish Police Department, access to information on confidential and ongoing police investigations and access confidential criminal justice information protected by state law.
Although Dial was initially given a September 29 deadline to respond to the allegations, he has twice requested more time and the case is still ongoing.