CINCINNATI - An Ohio man accused of lying to investors and city leaders about bringing a Grand Prix race to downtown Cincinnati has been arrested at the Mexican border on charges of fraud and money laundering.
Curtis Boggs, 54, fled Cincinnati months ago when it became apparent that there was to be no race and the case drew the attention of the mayor and the media, U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Fred Alverson said Monday.
"This was a very high-profile event, and as best as we can tell at this point, it was a complete scam," Alverson said.
The FBI believes Boggs, of Harrison, has been living somewhere in California and arrested him on Oct. 8 when he tried to return there from a trip to Mexico, Alverson said.
His attorney, Jim Maus, declined to comment Monday.
Boggs had been indicted by a federal grand jury on multiple counts of fraud and money laundering in June. The indictment was sealed until his arrest, and Alverson said prosecutors believe Boggs knew that he was wanted on the charges.
Boggs was returned to Cincinnati last week and had an appearance in federal court. Magistrate judge Stephanie Bowman allowed Boggs to be released and placed on electronic monitoring until his trial, set for January.
Boggs is staying with a family member in the Cincinnati area, Alverson said.
From October 2008 through August 2009, the indictment against Boggs says that he swindled investors of about $455,700 while promising to bring a Grand Prix race to Cincinnati and in exchange for shares in the company he started for the event.
Boggs also promised that their money would be invested in gold and silver, that some celebrities already had invested in the race and that they could expect returns of 10 to 50 percent, according to the indictment.
Instead of investing the money, the indictment says that Boggs used much it to buy a new Lincoln MKX for $27,000 and make a $35,000 mortgage payment, among other personal uses.
Along the way, Boggs met with Cincinnati's city leaders, including Mayor Mark Mallory, billing the race as a major downtown event that would be on the same level as the 24-hour Grand Prix race held every June in Le Mans, France.
The investors were not named in the indictment, but the document said that one of them liquidated an account with his employer to invest with Boggs.
If convicted of the charges, Boggs would face dozens of years in prison and being ordered to pay back investors.