Adopted son indicted on bank, tax fraud charges
The adopted son of one of America’s a long-time Vail resident and former fashion model was arrested Wednesday on federal fraud charges.
Jack Curtin-Hill, 56, of Denver, was arrested after a federal grand jury on Tuesday returned a 15-count indictment charging him with bank fraud, making false statements on tax returns and failure to file a tax return.
Curtin-Hill, the adopted son of Blanche C. “Christy” Hill, 88, made an initial appearance Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Denver, where he was advised of the charges against him. He was released on $10,000 unsecured bond. His arraignment hearing is Monday.
“Those seeking to defraud elderly victims will be the target of vigorous prosecution,” said John W. Suthers, U.S. Attorney for Colorado.
The indictment alleges that while serving as the personal secretary and bookkeeper for Hill from Aug. 14, 1995, through Sept. 4, 1998, Curtin-Hill defrauded FirstBank of Vail, obtaining assets, securities and other property under the custody and control of the bank belonging to Hill .
Hill, formerly known as Blanche Hauserman while she was married to Vail pioneer Dick Hauserman in the 1960s, appeared several times on the cover of Life magazine in the 1940s. She later married Cortland Hill, a descendant of James Jerome Hill, founder of the Great Northern Railroad, and changed her name to Christy Hill.
The indictment alleges Jack Curtin-Hill, who was adopted by Hill in 1981, maintained his adoptive mother’s personal financial records, including the preparation of monthly reconciliations of her accounts at FirstBank. Curtin-Hill also had signature authority over many of her financial accounts.
The indictment alleges Curtain-Hill obtained and sold FirstBank Holding Company securities from FirstBank without Hill’s knowledge.
He is also alleged to have forged Hill’s signature on stock certificates representing approximately 435 shares worth about $1.2 million.
Approximately $919,000 of the more than $1 million in stock sale proceeds was allegedly diverted to other accounts under his control and used for his personal benefit, the indictment says.
In February 1999, Hill filed a lawsuit against her adoptive son, accusing him of stealing hundred of thousands of dollars.
Failure to report
According to the indictment, on April 15, 1997, Curtin-hill failed to report approximately $94,000 on his federal income tax return, and gain, on April 15, 1998, he filed another return, failing to report another $402,000 in income, the indictment says.
In 1998, he had also received gross income in excess of $422,000 and didn’t file a federal income tax return to report these earnings as required by law, according to the indictment.
“Putting an end to high-dollar tax frauds associated with sophisticated financial crimes continues to be one of our priorities,” said James D. Vickery, special agent in charge, IRS-Criminal Investigation, Denver Field Office.
If convicted, Curtin-Hill could receive up to 30 years in federal prison and fines of more than $1 million. He also could be required to pay restitution.
This case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agents and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Kirsch.
Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454, or at email@example.com.