Local News

Striking Similarities in Fraud Cases of Businessman, Ex-Judge

Posted October 11, 2007 4:23 p.m. EDT
Updated October 11, 2007 11:05 p.m. EDT

— The fraud cases against a former judge and a Southern Pines businessman show a surprising number of parallels, according to authorities and court documents.

Sam Currin laundered about $1.4 million through some of the same shell companies in the Bahamas that David Hagen is accused of using, court records show.

Currin, a former federal prosecutor, Superior Court judge and state Republican Party chairman, pleaded guilty last November to laundering the money from a client's stock scam and lying to a grand jury about it. He is serving a six-year sentence in federal prison.

Hagen faces federal fraud and money laundering charges in connection with a stock scam for Bio-Health, which investigators call a bogus natural-health company. He was arrested a week ago when he flew into New York from the Bahamas, where he had been living in recent years.

Court records show Currin bought into Hagen's GTx Inc. and had links to Bio-Health Laboratories. Both men also had connections to Howell and Vernice Woltz, who pleaded guilty to setting up offshore accounts and companies to launder illegal stock profits, according to court records.

Hagen came to the attention of state authorities three years ago when former employees of his companies, Gatelinx and PrimeTV, said they were told to stonewall customers seeking rebates that had been promised on their satellite television service.