The men, Bradford Huebner and Charles Emmenecker, were both convicted of fraud, and Huebner was also found guilty of evading reporting requirements and money laundering. Huebner received over 7 years in jail and Emmenecker almost 3.
As well as convincing investors to buy into Iraqi dinar, they also took $750,000 from wealthy individuals who wanted to invest in hedge funds. The only problem was that the hedge funds that the men were selling did not exist.
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Iraqi Dinar scam: The blame game
Lawyers attempted to paint Rudolph Coenen, who made a guilty plea in the same case last year, as the mastermind who duped the two men into working with him. Coenen received a sentence of over 5 years at his trial back in September. According to Huebner’s lawywer Coenen was “the guy who told the lies, and he made them up long before he ever heard of Brad Huebner.”
The judge refused to buy this story, citing the fact that both Huebner and Emmenecker had long business careers, and should have checked Coenen’s background, even calling Huebner “a scammer who got scammed himself.”
Emmenecker attempted to use the same defence, claiming that he never made any money from the dinar sales, and simply trusted Huebner.
The judge told him that “the warning bells should have been deafening to you.”
Iraqi Dinar scam: Lasting optimism
Huebner did not do himself any favors by maintaining that the fraudulent investments would one day pay off for his customers, claiming that one day “in the near future” the Iraqi dinar would be revalued and his clients would be in the money.
Judge Zouhary was less than impressed, telling Huebner: “You indicated today that you are still excited for all the investors. Don’t be excited. Be saddened.”
It still surprises me quite how many people find themselves duped by charming salesmen, especially into buying complicated financial products which they may or may not fully understand. I very much doubt that this case will be the last, and anyone tempted to pile in on the prospect of a revaluation of the Iraqi dinar would be wise to err on the side of caution.