Paradise Valley man indicted on wire fraud, money laundering

A Paradise Valley man was indicted on numerous counts of alleged wire fraud and money laundering through means of false statements, reportedly using the money to support his “lavish lifestyle.”

A grand jury in the U.S. District Court in Phoenix accused David Harbour of making false statements to investors in an alleged payday-loan business scheme through several Scottsdale-based companies. The grand jury alleges Mr. Harbour defrauded investors in and out of Arizona of about $2.9 million from 2010-15.

An indictment against Mr. Harbour was filed July 30 but became public Thursday, Aug. 8. Mr. Harbour has pleaded not guilty to all counts. A jury trial is set for Oct. 1.

According to the indictment, Mr. Harbour reportedly promoted and sold “fraudulent high-yield investments, primarily involving investments in high-rate loans to small and start-up businesses.”

Mr. Harbour then, a grand jury claims, used the money on a variety of “lavish lifestyle” amenities, other business ventures and to pay off previous investors.

The indictment claims Mr. Harbour acted through 11 different companies, including Nautical Holdings, Highpointe Capital Group, DCR Hospital Investment and 21020, which were all based out of Scottsdale.

The grand jury alleges Mr. Harbour made promises of “excessive returns in short periods of time.” Through these payday loans, Mr. Harbour reportedly claimed he could make 20% returns and the loans would be low-risk because they were offered to many businesses.

He allegedly claimed investors’ funds would go to Green Circle, a Native American lending entity that Mr. Harbour established, which would finance consumer loans and generate profits.

Mr. Harbour used, the grand jury claims, numerous ways to solicit investments. He was a member of several luxury golf resorts in Scottsdale; Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Palm Springs, California; and Harrison, Idaho.

The indictment states Mr. Harbour would invite potential investors to his vacation condominium in Harrison or Cabo San Lucas. He also allegedly invited investors on his luxury boats or to fine dining and entertainment venues.

Some of those included his Skybox at Arizona State University football games and his 16th hole box at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

“Harbour portrayed a veneer of success by telling investors about luxury expenditures that intended to give the illusion that he was a successful investor,” the indictment stated.

The indictment continues to state Mr. Harbour “misrepresented virtually every material aspect of the purported investment opportunities,” including his backgrounds and experiences; the amount of funds going to the investment; the investor principal would be paid back before Mr. Harbour received compensation; and the guaranteed rate of return.

The grand jury alleges the majority of the $2.9 million were reportedly made to loans to small or start-up business. He also allegedly made unauthorized withdrawals of investor funds in about $1.1 million from Green Circle.

These charges come about a year after the Securities and Exchange Commission investigated Mr. Harbour and Green Circle. The SEC filed a complaint against Mr. Harbour on July 31, 2018, according to court documents.

At the time, the SEC claimed Mr. Harbour raised money, through various acquaintances he managed and controlled, from his friends and business acquaintances and claimed their money would be used to finance various businesses.

The SEC then claimed Mr. Harbour instead used “substantial portions” of the money to finance his personal lifestyle. Court documents claim he used about $1.54 million of the $2.45 million to pay for personal expenses and pay off debt.

The case was ultimately settled.

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