Saturday, October 31, 2020

Ex-California Assemblyman Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering in Coffee Shop Scam

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A former California state assemblyman, Terrence Goggin pleaded guilty to money laundering after falsely leading investors to fund the building of Peet’s Coffee shops at San Francisco BART stations, the U.S. Department of Justice said Thursday.

Terrence Patrick Goggin, 78, pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering in San Francisco federal court following an investigation by the FBI and the IRS, according to a statement by U.S. Attorney David L. Anderson.

Goggin, a currently-licensed California attorney and former representative of California’s 66th District, admitted that he was the founder and CEO of Metropolitan Coffee and Concession Company (MC2) from 2013 to 2014.

According to his guilty plea, Goggin solicited investor money from July 2007 to February 2014 to build Peet’s Coffee shops. He claimed he would build two future shops at the Civic Center and Balboa Park BART stations.

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Private investors financed Goggin’s proposed projects in September 2013, with a group of four investors providing $585,000 for the Civic Center project and an individual investing $100,000 for the Balboa Park project.

Goggin falsely told the investors that their money would go toward the Peet’s Coffee projects but specifically planned to use the funds for other purposes, Anderson said.

Goggin admitted that he also “failed to provide the investors with accurate information about the relationship between MC2 and BART and about the state of MC2’s finances.”

Almost all of the $685,000 worth of investment funds was diverted by Goggin–and by his employees at his direction–to other bank accounts associated with other business ventures in which the investors did not agree to invest.

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On Sep. 12, 2013, MC2 received $585,000 from private equity investors; on that same day, Goggin knowingly directed $15,000 from MC2’s bank account to the business bank account of Aegis Atlantic, a Delaware company of which Goggin was the CEO.

“That money was never used for the agreed-upon BART projects and was instead spent on other purposes,” Anderson said.

Goggin was charged with nine counts of money laundering and four counts of wire fraud on Sep. 13, 2018. Aside from pleading guilty to one charge of money laundering, Goggin agreed to pay a restitution of at least $685,000.

Goggin is free on bond while awaiting sentencing and is due back in federal court on April 1, 2020. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 plus the restitution amount.

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