ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A previously convicted felon, Brian Thomas Reynolds, age 52, of Leesburg, was arrested last night on charges related to defrauding investors of a local newspaper, unlawful possession of firearms by a previously convicted felon, and making false statements to the FBI.
According to allegations in the indictments, Reynolds defrauded both investors and lenders to a company that he controlled that operates a local newspaper in Loudoun County. As alleged in that indictment, Reynolds made several materially false and fraudulent representations to actual and potential investors and lenders regarding the existence and value of advertising contracts held by the company, and created fake advertising contracts when no such agreements existed. Reynolds also allegedly made materially false and fraudulent representations regarding the company’s historical advertising revenues and the amount of money that Reynolds and others had invested in the company, falsely claimed that another individual had agreed to “match” the investments of certain investors, falsely claimed to at least one investor that the company lacked any debt, understated the amount of debt owed by the company to other investors, and materially overstated the amount of money held by the company in its bank accounts.
The indictment further alleges that Reynolds created altered loan documentation to defraud an individual who had lent money to the company by changing the language of the loan agreement to conditions that were materially more favorable to Reynolds and his company than had actually been agreed to by the lender. According to the indictment, Reynolds also made materially false representations regarding the number of issues previously distributed by the newspaper, and falsely claimed that a prominent businessperson served on the company’s advisory board, when in fact that individual held no position on the board and played no role in the operation of the business.
A second indictment charges Reynolds, who is a convicted felon, with unlawfully possessing eight firearms and associated ammunition, and with making false statements to the FBI regarding his use of firearms.
Reynolds is charged with 11 counts of wire fraud, one count of unlawful possession of firearms by a convicted felon, and one count of making false statements. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud, a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for the unlawful possession of firearms, and a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison for making false statements. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.