Lander man accused of defrauding company out of $15M

All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

(Lander, WY) – A New York financial services company filed a federal civil suit in the District of Wyoming on June 22nd alleging Lander resident Paul McCown swindled them out of a loan for $15 million.

The company, RIA R Squared, claims he “intentionally and deliberately falsified documentation to present himself to R Squared as an accredited investor worth over $750 million dollars,” according to the court documents.

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McCown, who at the time was the chief financial officer for the Wyoming Catholic College (WCC), was reportedly introduced to R Squared while serving in this capacity at the school and pursuing advisory services for their endowment fund.

On June 25th, he resigned as CFO from the College after being placed on indefinite administrative leave on June 5th, according to a July 7th statement from the WCC, who was “made aware of personal financial irregularities involving Mr. Paul McCown” on June 3rd.

In March 2021, McCown transitioned to seeking investment advisory services for himself after “he had amassed substantial personal wealth,” documents state. R Squared’s standard verification procedures were then set into motion.

Throughout this process, McCown reportedly produced bank statements allegedly from Wyoming Community Bank (WCB) and US Bank that aligned with him receiving $750 million into his personal account.

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Their investment advisory relationship continued to formalize. Additional required documents were produced on what appeared to be WCB letterhead. Contact with the presumed Lander branch vice president was facilitated by McCown as well.

WCB confirmed to R Squared that the bank statements provided by McCown “are not true and correct, and appear to be forgeries,” $750 million has never been transferred into any of his accounts nor have they ever held hundreds of millions. In addition, the contact information provided by McCown for the Lander branch vice president was false and he had no knowledge of these dealings.

Court documents state on May 5th, McCown claimed his business, McCown Enterprises LLC, had “a $26 million invoice outstanding to a supplier and that his business account (holding approximately $16 million) did not have sufficient funds to cover the debt.” He asked R Squared for a $10 million short-term loan so he did not have to move funds from his personal account.

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This is not uncommon due to the movement of funds between business and personal accounts can delay the transfer process of “substantial personal wealth to a custodial account,” according to R Squared.

This loan request moved forward at which point McCown then increased the amount requested from $10 million to $15 million.

With alleged confirmation from WCB that his personal account balance was over $761 million as of May 7th, required documents on the bank’s letterhead, and contact with the supposed Lander branch vice president, the $15 million wire transfer happened on May 11th.

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After the transfer, the parties continued moving forward with setting up an investment advisory account with the money held in his personal account.

Several reported delays to the money transfer ensued and finally on May 21st R Squared stated they received an email from the presumed Lander branch vice president saying, “The funds have been released.” This was supposedly in the amount of $761 million.

The funds never arrived, the suit states, and R Squared launched an investigation.

This allegedly revealed that soon after the $15 million was received, the funds were transferred out of the business account and sent to family, other businesses, the State of Wyoming, and $10.5 million to the “Goldman Sachs Philanthropy Fund,” according to court documents.

$10 million of the money sent to the philanthropy fund was directed to be sent to the WCC as an “anonymous donation.”

All of the funds with the exception of $933,137 have been accounted for at the time of the suit filing.

R Squared states in their filing that McCown, through his then-counsel, “denied signing the notarized loan documents; denied any knowledge of those documents; and denied borrowing money from R Squared at all.”

They have now filed eight claims against McCown and a motion hearing has been set for July 16th.

The WCC stated they are “cooperating with parties involved in the civil suit, and the funds are in the process of being returned” and “an initial internal review by the College found no additional financial irregularities, and Wyoming Catholic College has neither been sued nor is a defendant to the suit.”

In addition, a second WCC employee referenced in the suit as being the person who introduced McCown to R Squared and reportedly received funds from the $15 million has been placed on administrative leave.

County 10 will share any additional information as it comes available.

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