On Thursday, Acting United States Attorney Gregory G. Brooker announced that 65-year-old Colin Alexander Chisholm had been sentenced to 48 months in prison. Chisholm was accused of stealing more than $2.1 million from victims by convincing them they were investing in a television network. In reality, Chisholm was using the funds for his own personal reasons. Chisholm initially pleaded guilty on January 24, 2017.
Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman made a statement about the sentencing. “Colin Chisholm ripped off people with a long trail of lies about himself and his fraudulent investments. As a result of Chisholm’s lies, dozens of victims lost the money they had entrusted to him for what they believed was a legitimate investment. Stopping this investment scam and bringing this white-collar criminal to justice demonstrate the strong partnership between the Commerce Fraud Bureau and federal authorities.”
According to the plea and documents filed in the court, Chisholm was involved in running The Caribbean Television Network since 2004. The entity, which was supposedly broadcasting satellite television throughout the Caribbean, was used to solicit funds from investors. Chisholm was accused of telling investors that the network was on the verge of securing around $20 to $100 million in funding to begin broadcasting. Investors were told that their funds would be utilized as interim financing.
It was alleged that Chisholm lied to investors numerous times. For starters, he was accused of claiming to be the grandson of Hugh J. Chisholm Jr. and the son of William Chisholm with the Oxford Paper Company. Chisholm convinced investors that he was from a wealthy family and claimed to be a Scottish Chieftain of the Clan Chisholm. In some cases, Chisholm allegedly told investors he had close personal ties with certain members of the Bush family, including Prescott S. Bush Jr., the former President’s deceased brother.
According to his plea and court documents, Chisholm also made misrepresentations of his professional background. It was alleged that the defendant told potential investors that he had worked as the Vice President of Turner Program Services and had a relationship with Ted Turner. Chisholm was accused of pretending to have helped with the development and launch of CNN, claiming to have written the news network’s business plan.
Over a period of ten years, Chisholm stole more than $2.1 million from at least 38 investors. The money was often used to support a lavish lifestyle. Chisholm has been sentenced to 48 months in prison with three years of supervised released. He has also been ordered to pay $2,106,687.98 in restitution.