Federal agents are investigating former NASCAR driver Brian Rose for creating a fake coal mining company to scam investors.
Federal prosecutors believe that Rose is the leader of the eight other people involved in the $15 million fraud scheme, which cheated more than 160 people out of thousands of dollars.
According to the indictment, Rose and the other defendants promised good returns on investing in “New Century Coal,” a sulfur and ash coal mining company in Kentucky and Tennessee.
The Secret Service learned in 2013 there was no such New Century Coal company.
The defendants had all taken precautions to cover their tracks; they created ghost companies to prevent suspicion, and two changed their names.
Yet investors did not know what their money was being spent on. In reality, Rose used some of the money to support his NASCAR racing team, according to Secret Service agent Glen Kessler. Others spent it on gambling trips to Las Vegas and thoroughbred horses.
The nine defendants are charged with conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud. The Secret Service has seized race cars, race horses and property from the defendants, but is still trying to get back all the lost money.
Lucrative scams may run in Rose’s family; his father went to prison for another $15 million scheme involving fraudulent oil and gas companies. The Secret Service is also investigating another company, Earth Energy Exploration, run by Rose and his family.
For more on this story, see WSOC-TV.