Beckley, W.Va; Pharmacist Natalie P. Cochran Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud

Beckley, W.Va; Pharmacist Natalie P. Cochran Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud and Money Laundering | USAO-SDWV

(STL.News) – Natalie P. Cochran, 39, of Daniels, pled guilty in federal court today to fraud charges, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  Cochran, a Raleigh County pharmacist and owner of two companies in Beckley – Technology Management Solutions (TMS) and Tactical Solutions Group (TSG) – pled guilty to wire fraud and money laundering.  Pursuant to her plea agreement, Cochran also agreed to pay nearly $2.6 million in restitution to her victims and to forfeit her interest to the United States in the assets she obtained through her fraudulent activities, including two pieces of real property, a 1965 Shelby Cobra, multiple vehicles, pieces of jewelry, and nearly $45,000 seized from her business’ bank account.

“Today, Natalie Cochran admitted and pled guilty of committing the federal crimes of wire fraud and money laundering,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “In terms of this agreement, trust me, this is a difficult day for Natalie Cochran.  Not only could she be sentenced to more than 11 years in prison, Cochran agreed to forfeiture of a substantial amount of cash and assets.  Cochran also waived her right to appeal.  Cochran pled guilty.  I am pleased that this agreement results in the goal I have in every case – justice for victims and taxpayers.”

Cochran admitted that from approximately June 2017 through at least August 22, 2019, she knowingly defrauded and took money and property from individuals, a financial institution and several other companies.  She induced them to invest in TMS and TSG and in phony government contracts by making false misrepresentations regarding her and her companies’ experience and purported success as government contractors.  Cochran further admitted that she convinced at least 11 people to invest approximately $2.5 million in alleged government contracts.  The investors paid through personal checks, cashier’s checks and wire transfers.  She also convinced an investor to send $511,920 through a wire transfer from North Carolina.  She further admitted she never invested the money she received but put it into her personal and business bank accounts for personal purposes unrelated to the investments.  Cochran admitted to using investor funds to make numerous purchases over $10,000, including withdrawing more than $37,500 to purchase a 1965 Shelby Cobra.  She also admitted to knowing that at least one of her investors suffered a financial hardship as a result of her scheme.  In order to keep up appearances, Cochran admitted to using some investors’ funds to pay other investors a partial return on their investment.

Cochran faces up to 135 months in prison when sentenced on January 4, 2021.

The West Virginia State Police, the United States Secret Service, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation – Office of Inspector General (FDIC-OIG) conducted the investigation.  United States District Judge Frank W. Volk presided over the hearing.  Assistant United States Attorneys Kathleen Robeson and Greg McVey are handling the prosecution.

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