CHICAGO — A Chicago businessman who claimed to earn substantial profits from buying and selling heavy industrial equipment has been indicted on federal fraud charges for allegedly swindling customers and investors out of at least $350,000.
BRIAN BLALOCK, 37, of Chicago, is charged in an indictment returned Thursday in U.S. District Court in Chicago with nine counts of wire fraud. Arraignment has not yet been scheduled.
The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and William Hedrick, Inspector-in-Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Chicago. Valuable assistance was provided by the Illinois Securities Department. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jacqueline Stern, Brian Havey, and Matthew Getter.
According to the indictment, Blalock operated three Chicago-based businesses – PWC Holdings LLC, Brian Blalock LLC, and Parkwood Companies LLC – through which he purported to buy and sell trucks, trailers, road construction machines, oil field equipment, and generators. Blalock solicited and obtained money from individual victims by falsely representing that he could either directly sell equipment to them or use their funds to purchase and sell equipment to others and then share in the substantial profits, the charges allege.
In reality, Blalock did not intend to deliver any equipment to the victim buyers, nor did he intend to use their investment funds to purchase and sell equipment, the indictment states. Blalock instead used a substantial portion of the victims’ funds for his own personal benefit, including his rent payments, utility bills, meals at restaurants, and retail purchases, the charges allege.
As a result of the scheme, Blalock from 2018 to 2021 caused the victims to suffer at least $350,000 in losses, the indictment states.
The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Each count of wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.