A former Creve Coeur resident, on the run after federal authorities say he bilked millions of dollars from investors around the country, was taken into custody in Thailand and transferred to the United States Thursday.
As part of the 13 count indictment first filed in July and unsealed after his arrest, the United States Attorney's Office said Richard E. Saunders, a former Internal Revenue Service employee, billed himself as chairman of Advisors Capital Holdings, with offices in St. Louis, Texas and California. The indictment said Saunders "promised investors guaranteed returns by investing in allegedly low risk offshore annuities." Investors were promised returns of up to 20 percent. The indictment says Saunders orchestrated the scheme that paid out returns to investors with funds solicited from other investors, not actual promised profits. The indictment highlights dollar figures from wire transfers to an account Saunders controlled ranging from $96,000 from one investor in Maryland to $500,000 from another in Colorado.
The indictment does not say when or where Saunders was employed by the IRS. It does say the alleged fraud took place between 2002 and 2008, when he fled the country. It includes additional allegations of tax evasion.
An IRS spokesman tells Creve Coeur Patch that Saunders was due in federal court in Los Angeles sometime Friday. It was unclear when he would be transferred back to St. Louis.