ROGERS (KFSM) – A Rogers cancer center administrator sentenced to prison is suing the FBI, saying agents entrapped him by using a fake middle-eastern “sheik” in a $2.5 million investment.
James W. Bolt, 61, was sentenced last month to more than eight years in federal prison for his role in a criminal scheme involving wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering. He was also ordered to pay more than $2.5 million in restitution.
But before the suspect’s Situs Cancer Research clinic in Rogers was raided by federal investigators in the summer of 2013, he was one of four defendants in a separate federal fraud case involving the sale of his company through a stockbroker who turned out to be an FBI agent.
Bolt and three other colleagues at Shimoda-Atlantic Oncology in Rogers were acquitted of fraud charges in 2007, and now Bolt is suing the FBI, saying they entrapped him in the case through an elaborate plot involving foreign investors and hidden identities, according to a lawsuit filed by Bolt in U.S. District Court on Monday.
Bolt is seeking compensatory and punitive damages including at least $2.5 million, the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit states Bolt and his colleagues were contacted by a stockbroker named John Firo in late 2004 who offered to pay Bolt’s startup pharmaceutical company some investment money. Bolt later discovered Firo was actually FBI Agent John Osa, court documents state.
Firo in 2005 conducted an on-site inspection, as an investor, of Shimoda-Atlantic with Patrick Lochrie, who Bolt later learned was a witness cooperating with the FBI. Firo introduced Lochri “as someone who spent considerable time in middle-eastern countries and who served as a liaison for a wealthy family there, for whom they annually invested over $100 million,” according to the lawsuit.
The FBI agent and cooperating witness later requested trade secrets and detailed financial information about the company, claiming the original “capital needs” presented by Shimoda-Atlantic “were insufficiently large enough to raise the interest of ‘the sheik,’” court documents state.
The lawsuit states Firo asked Bolt to endorse a plan requiring a minimum of $2.5 million, although federal authorities said Bolt and his colleagues tried to hide kickback money in exchange for buying Firo and Lochrie’s influence with “the sheik”.
Firo, Lochrie and a man identifying himself as “Sheik Mohammed Galani” then traveled to Rogers in 2006 to carry out the $2.5 million investment agreement, the lawsuit states.
The FBI agent had properly registered himself as a securities dealer and was affiliated with a registered brokerage. Lochrie was licensed in various middle-eastern countries as a stockbroker, including Dubai and Saudi Arabia.
In May 2006, “Shek Galani” signed the investment agreement the sides had negotiated.
“The following morning, an FBI agent, Mike Patkus from Little Rock, appeared in Shimoda’s lobby and served me with grand jury subpoenas for Shimoda’s records,” the lawsuit states. “He laughingly advised that ‘the sheik was fake,’ that all concerned ‘were going to go to prison,’” according to the lawsuit.
Bolt and his colleagues were later brought up on federal fraud charges, tried and acquitted in federal court in Arkansas, according to court records.