Epilogue: Wade Cook

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by hughb, Dec 14, 2007.

  1. hughb


    I didn't realize until just now that Wade is behind bars now. Oddly enough, his website is still up and running.


    Wade Cook gets 88 months in prison
    Laura Cook sentenced to 18 months

    Last updated August 2, 2007 11:55 p.m. PT


    Self-styled financial guru Wade Cook, 57, was sentenced Thursday to seven years and four months in federal prison for income tax evasion, filing false tax returns and obstructing a tax investigation.

    His wife, Laura, 54, was sentenced to 18 months in a separate federal prison after pleading guilty in May to obstructing the investigation.

    "Mr. Cook is in many ways an upstanding citizen, but there is another, rather dark side to Mr. Cook that needs to be considered by the court," U.S. District Judge Thomas Zilly said before imposing sentence, addressing a courtroom packed with family members.

    As for Laura Cook, he said, "It's very troubling to me -- that not only did you participate with your husband in the fraud, but you lied under oath twice and tried to use that false testimony in trial before me."

    Zilly, who presided over the Fall City couple's four-week trial last winter, let the couple remain free for the next five to six weeks to get their affairs in order before surrendering to federal marshals.

    Wade Cook's attorney, Angelo Calfo, said he plans to immediately appeal Cook's conviction, hoping to keep him out of prison. Laura Cook agreed when she entered her guilty plea not to appeal her sentence.

    Zilly also ordered the Cooks to pay $3.8 million in federal taxes on the $9.5 million in royalties they earned but failed to declare between 1998 and 2000.

    During the hearing, Wade Cook was animated, grinning at his family and occasionally laughing and shaking his head in apparent dismay as Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Westinghouse argued before the judge. But his demeanor changed considerably after Zilly pronounced sentence.

    Seemingly stunned, he sat for 10 minutes with his head in his hands. Ten feet away, Laura Cook stared down at the counsel table. Some of their daughters cried.

    But, as Westinghouse noted during his remarks, "Wade Cook is as defiant today as he was the day he was charged. He blames everyone but himself."

    Asked afterward to comment on the outcome, Cook remarked, "I'm not going to tell you that this judge is an asshole. I'm not going to say that."

    Then, speaking to someone nearby, he added, "He probably wants me to say Westinghouse is a criminal and a liar, but I'm not going to say that, either."

    Westinghouse said the judgment in each case "is clearly appropriate. ... The court clearly considered all the factors it was required to consider."

    Calfo asked that Wade Cook serve his time at Sheridan, a medium-security facility for men 90 minutes south of Portland. Jeffery Robinson, an attorney for Laura Cook, asked that she serve her sentence at Geiger Correctional Center in Spokane.

    Wade Cook's sentence of 88 months is well below the 121 months requested by the U.S. Attorney's Office. Laura Cook's sentence is higher than the 15 months the prosecutors sought.

    Zilly said his sentencing of Wade Cook was influenced by presentencing reports that in 1990, Cook was indicted in Arizona on 18 charges of fraudulently selling unregistered securities and conducting illegal enterprises.

    He said he also found significant that the Federal Trade Commission had consolidated actions in 14 states against Wade Cook for improperly taking money from investors and had imposed penalties of about $2.7 million.

    He noted that the Cooks filed no personal income tax returns between 1993 and 1996. And he concluded that the intricate network of corporations and trusts the Cooks set up was "sophisticated," increasing the maximum sentence he could impose.

    To Laura Cook, he said, "You have led in many respects an exemplary life." But, he noted, she had also admitted signing falsified tax returns for three years in a row, creating a backdated promissory note in an attempt to make income look like a non-taxable loan and lying under oath in two separate investigatory hearings.

    The Cooks' case stretches back before 2003, Zilly noted.

    "It was only because of the defendants' foot-dragging, concealment, obstruction that this investigation lasted as long as it did," Zilly said.

    A federal jury convicted Wade Cook on Feb. 20 on seven counts of tax fraud, while Laura went free because jurors couldn't agree on verdicts in her case.

    The jury found Wade Cook guilty of evading federal income tax from 1998 through 2000 on royalty payments of $9.5 million, filing falsified tax returns in those years and obstructing federal investigations into his actions.

    As part of the tax fraud, the Cooks created a fictitious limited partnership purportedly for the benefit of the Mormon church, of which they are members. But no funds ever flowed to the church.

    At its peak, Tukwila-based Wade Cook Financial Corp. employed 550 people and brought in annual revenue of $118 million from seminars, books and tapes on investment and tax strategies.

    The Cooks spent $487,000 to maintain their estate, $360,000 to buy 10 cars, $200,000 to buy at least nine horses and $217,000 as a donation to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to the prosecution.

    They live on a horse ranch, which they said they have put up for sale, and once had a net worth of $200 million.

    "There is nothing wrong with buying property or jewelry or cars," Zilly said during the sentencing hearing. "But most people pay taxes."

    The prosecution said that since formal proceedings began against the Cooks in December 2005, the couple have been at liberty, and Wade Cook has continued to do business over the Internet, selling advice on investment strategies -- and tax write-offs.


    P-I reporter Dan Richman can be reached at 206-448-8032 or danrichman@seattlepi.com.

    © 1998-2007 Seattle Post-Intelligencer
  2. maxpi


    It was a Wade Cook radio ad that got me interested in trading. Man that was a while back, he talked about "cash to cash", pocketing some loot same day.... I'm a smash and grab guy at heart so that appealed to me... Thanks Wade... Oh, and uh Wade, if you drop the soap in the shower just let it go ok?

  3. Your sympathy is overwhelming, for some strange reason, i thought maybe you weren't the smash an grab type, maxpi.

    But reading the various bits on it, i have to say-this guy is a friggin crook, on the evidence sitting right there.

    Forget the tax dodginess, that should be largely immaterial-except that its not-it appears at face value, this guy is a shocking fraudster, the very likes of which bring disrepute to anyone engaged in the markets, certainly from the amateur -easy money spectrum.

    Im astonished, on the one hand, that this guy was busted for tax evasion, like capone, but at the same time, he wasnt busted for his actual business practices, the sheer trading fraud involved.

    Hey, i dont know what to think about his, he likely should have done time YEARS ago, but there must be dozens just like him now, who DID pay their taxes, you know.

    Im saying, i dislike the system that allowed him to do this shit, as much as the fact it's the same system purporting to represent justice, now.
  4. Pekelo


    One's ability to properly file taxreturns (or trying to evade tax) has nothing to do with his trading ability.

    Or using a sport analogy:

    One's ability to catch a ball while running fast has nothing to do with his murderous feelings/acts towards ex-wife....
  5. Did you not read the part about presentencing reports that in 1990, Cook was indicted in Arizona on 18 charges of fraudulently selling unregistered securities and conducting illegal enterprises? What does that tell you about his "trading?"
  6. I guess that the idea is to get them however you can once they surface on the scum radar.

    On an entirely different note, I think it is fascinatingly coincidental that Larry Williams is also dealing with tax fraud issues, not unlike Mr. Wade and Mr. Capone. Regarding this fine specimen, during the course of the now famous trading contest in 1987, Larry’s composite performance showed a loss of $6,122,281 while his personal accounts experienced a gain of $902,599, as outlined in the NFA’s Findings and Conclusions. You may or may not wish to consider the fact that time stamps were a slippery issue in those days and draw their own conclusions. In any event, nothing could be specifically proven aside from a distinctly repulsive and offensive smell. (Hypothetically, and strictly for the sake of argument, if Larry and the broker were in cahoots, then there would be no pesky paper trail for the pesky authorities to latch onto.) So the best that could be done was to issue something of a warning which, quite coincidentally, the NFA did. Specifically, the Findings and Conclusion included the following text:

    ”There is no question that Mr. Williams's personal trading accounts had a material effect upon his composite trading performance. The record reflects that for the first quarter of 1987, Mr. Williams's composite performance showed a loss of $6,122,281, while at the same time Mr. Williams's personal accounts experienced a gain of $902,599. The Panel finds that the fact Mr. Williams was making significant gains while managed customer accounts were suffering considerable losses would be a material fact which a potential customer would need to know in order to make a fully reasoned decision.”

    Sometimes, that's all that you can legally do at the time. And so you wait...

    P.S. Naturally, this post is presented for entertainment purposes only.
  7. First, I don't know the in's and out's of what's going on with the Williams guy.

    I'm curious to know if Mr. Williams was using his personal account (profitable account) to bring in new clients while not disclosing that he was losing money on the managed accounts???

    Simply, it's not illegal nor unethical to be profitable in your personal trading account in comparison to managed trading account (losses) due to using different market approaches and risks.

    Therefore, what's the real issue that the NFA has with Mr. Williams???

    Once again, I'm not familiar with the details and the only thing I can think of is that Mr. Williams was using his personal account as a marketing tool to bring in clients for the managed accounts while not disclosing what was actually occurring in the managed accounts or outright lying about what was occuring in those managed accounts.

    With that said, at first glance it seems like Mr. Williams was taking funds out of the managed accounts and putting those funds into his personal bank accounts.

    Thus, the illegal activity had nothing to do with trading itself.

    Another possibility (I'm still guessing) is that he was using his personal trading account to take trades that benefitted via what was occurring in the managed trading accounts.

  8. I was searching wade cook on Internet and I came upon this post made today here!

    Finally that man is behind bars, it took 10 years to put handcuffs on this rogue. He hurt many many people in his lifetime and people couldn't do a thing against him. Ultimately its the IRS that gets these crooks like Al Capone.

    It was a Wade Cook seminar that got me started. It was his WIN system riddled with false and bogus trades that I lost money. It was stock splits and rolling stocks that he promoted shamelessy. I lost all my money with it. He just hurt too many people to count, just too many out there for a number of years on and on while he accumulated wealth.
  9. Aok


    Pay your taxes or expatriate.

    Buying gold and having a good law firm on retainer wouldnt hurt either.
  10. Forgive me, Mark, but I think you may be missing the point. If you consider the possibility that the two events are actually directly related, then the pieces fall into place and it has everything to do with his trading. Think about it and don't forget about the time stamp laxity in those days.

    P.S. Again, this scenario is presented only for entertainment purposes.
    #10     Dec 15, 2007