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Estate Planner Accused of Wire Fraud

November 19, 2014

Rapid City Journal – A former Rapid City man who built a career telling people how to manage their money and plan their estates has been indicted on federal wire-fraud and money-laundering charges.

Federal authorities say Randall “Randy” McKee, 57, now of Sioux Falls, set up a real estate development scheme that bilked investors out of about $625,000 between September 2008 and December 2009.

McKee is also accused of using his position as a trustee for a disabled man to draw at least $83,675 from the client’s trust account for his own use.

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McKee enjoyed a high profile. In 2003 he was one of five estate planners in the United States named to Senior Market Advisor magazine’s expert estate-planner panel. He marketed his “Estate Planner In A Box” program through speaking engagements for agricultural organizations and Extension Service-sponsored events in South Dakota and neighboring states.

McKee also was an occasional columnist for the Rapid City Journal.

When he appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Veronica L. Duffy on Nov. 6 in Rapid City, McKee pleaded not guilty to 14 counts of wire fraud and nine counts of money laundering. Duffy released McKee on bond after appointing a federal public defender to represent him.

According to the federal indictment, McKee was operating IRA Consultants, Inc., a company he created in 2005, when he was appointed trustee for the disabled man’s discretionary supplemental-care fund. As the trustee, his duties included managing the trust’s bank account and paying the victim’s expenses.

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Rather than using the trust’s money for the victim, McKee is accused of writing checks from the trust account to IRA Consultants, claiming the funds were for money management. Once the checks were deposited in the company’s account, McKee wrote checks to himself or his wife.

Between Jan. 22, 2008, and Dec. 20, 2013, McKee allegedly manipulated the trust’s funds for his own benefit, using electronic wire transfers to move the money from one account to another and from bank to bank, according to court documents.

About $56,500 was funneled through IRA’s account into the McKee’s personal account, according to court documents. McKee is also accused of moving an additional $27,175 from the trust’s account by writing checks to himself.

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According to court documents, McKee used another business, Wyoming Residential Partners, L.L.C., a South Dakota corporation, to recruit investors for a bogus housing project in the Wright, Wyo., area.

Between September 2008 and December 2009, several people gave McKee a total of $625,000 for the project.

Rather than doing the project, McKee is accused of wiring money between banks, shifting it from Wyoming Residential Partners’ account to IRA Consultants’. He then wrote checks totaling $151,725 on the IRA Consultants account to himself and his wife, according to court documents.

McKee was given a Jan. 13, 2015, trial date.

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photo credit: Keoni Cabral via photopin cc