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Debtor Convicted of Concealing Stock Options
By Chery Sabol
The Daily Inter Lake

A Eureka, Montana man pleaded guilty to Federal crimes including making false statements to a local bank and failing to disclose his interest in stock options and other assets. Duncan W. Edwards, 59, entered his plea in Missoula on Monday. Chief U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy accepted Edwards’ guilty plea and will sentence him on September 10, 2004.

Edwards was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Mercer. Edwards faces possible penalties of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release for Bankruptcy fraud, plus the same penalties for making false statements on loan and credit applications.

According to Mercer’s documents, Edwards was convicted of felony theft in Arizona in 1991 and ordered to pay more than $3 million to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. as receiver for forward Federal Savings and Loan Association.

In 1998 in Butte, Montana Edwards filed for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy protection for himself and his company, Adventure Motorsports. Another Edwards company, Timber Creek Consulting Inc., was not included in the Bankruptcy. In 1999 Edwards converted his Chapter 13 to a Chapter 7, but failed to disclose his interest, and that of Timber Creek, in stock options of Inland Entertainment/Venture Catalyst Inc. The Debtor amended his Petition to include the options held by Timber Creek, but suggested they had no value. In February 2000 a Trustee learned that the price of the options had jumped and advised Edwards’ Attorney that he would seek an Emergency Order to sell the stock so the money could be turned over to the Estate.

While Edwards told the Trustee that his girlfriend had exercised some of the options and used the money to secure a loan with a Bank in southern California, the Trustee was told by Inland Casino that all the options that had been held by Timber Creek had been exercised by Edwards. Timber Creek netted approximately $445,000 from the sale.

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