Two more sentenced in Redstone Castle fraud case
Glenwood Springs Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado
DENVER, Colorado ” Two more players have been sentenced to prison for their roles in a $56 million investment scheme from which proceeds were once used to buy the Redstone Castle.
On Friday, Michael Duane Smith, of Colbert, Wash., was sentenced to 60 months in prison and ordered to pay $52,015 restitution. On June 20, George Alan Weed, of Benton, Ill., was sentenced to 21 months in prison and ordered to pay $125,010 restitu-tion. Weed was found guilty of mail fraud, wire fraud and securities fraud, but was found not guilty of other charges, according to John Harrison, special agent and public information officer with Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations.
Norman Schmidt, of Denver, got 330 years in prison for his role in the investment scheme. His wife, Jan-nice, was sentenced to nine years in prison. Charles Franklin Lewis, of Littleton, got 30 years in prison. George Beros, of Shaker Heights, Ohio, received a year and a day in prison plus $286,739 in restitution. Peter A.W. Moss, of London, Eng-land, was never located.
Authorities said the group worked from 1999 to 2003 to con investors with a purportedly high-yield invest-ment program using a number of shell corporations including the Reserve Foundation Trust, Smitty’s Investments, Capital Holdings, Monarch Capital Holdings and Fast Track. The scam promised investors returns of 2 to 400 percent per month, guaranteed them against loss and even sent out phony monthly statements, investigators believe.
Proceeds were used to buy the Redstone Castle, eight NASCAR race cars, a race truck and other race items. Investigators seized 60 bank accounts and other property.
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After seizing the Redstone Castle in 2003, the IRS sold it at auction in 2005 for $4 million to Ralli Dimitrius, a part-time Aspen resident. He reopened the castle for public tours last year. Redstone is a small community south of Carbondale on Highway 133.