Local News

N.C. Businessman Arrested on Federal Fraud Charges

Posted October 4, 2007 10:41 p.m. EDT
Updated October 5, 2007 2:53 p.m. EDT

— A Southern Pines businessman implicated in an investigation by WRAL was arrested by federal agents in New York City last week and will face additional fraud charges.

David Hagen came under scrutiny in 2004 after DirecTV cut its ties with his company, Prime TV,  that operated out of the Gatelinx building in Moore County.

Prime TV sold thousands of satellite receivers to DirecTV customers nationwide, but failed to pay $50 to $150 rebates it promised. Prime employees told WRAL they were told to mislead customers, and Hagen was also sued by dozens of distributors he did not pay.

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper and local federal officials then began to take a closer look at Hagen's activities.

A criminal complaint against Hagen was filed in Charlotte in January, alleging fraud and money laundering in a stock scam. Investigators said he and other promoted a bogus natural healing company, sold stock, ripped off investors and then hid about $10 million overseas.

The complaint had been sealed until Monday, a few days after federal agents arrested Hagen as he arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport on a flight from the Bahamas, where he had been living.

A WRAL investigation found that he and his wife, Annette, had served federal prison time in the 1990s in Virginia for direct mail and bankruptcy fraud. Over the years, Hagen has moved, shifted money from company to company and used different names, including David Allen and David Defusco.

More than 2,200 complaints about PrimeTV were registered with the Better Business Bureau in three years.