Former Navy SEAL Jason Mullaney convinced 11 SEAL team members and one civilian to invest a total of $1.2 million into his company, called Trident Global Financial Holdings. Naming the company after the Navy SEAL symbol, Mullaney promised to use the money to award loans to credit-challenged small businesses and individuals through secured assets and promised a 24 percent return in a year. The reality was that the former Navy SEAL used the money to fund a lavish lifestyle and gambling habit.
Jason Mullaney says he kept the scheme running by operating it as a pyramid scheme, paying some investors off while offering others a better deal should they re-invest or invest more. The former SEAL plead guilty to four charges on September 8 of last year, but has since tried to revoke his plea and prosecutors say he shows no remorse for his scam. When several of the Navy SEALs who’d invested tried to collect, Mullaney could not be found and the frogmen went to police, says Western Journalism.
The former SEAL Team Five member used his connections and the brotherhood of the Navy to elicit the investments, say those who were cheated. One lost $160,000 in all, submitting a written statement to the court regarding how reprehensible he considered Jason Mullaney to be.
Prosecutors have laid out a timeline in which Mullaney convinced the active and former Navy SEAL Team members to invest, as well as a civilian connected to the armed forces. He then used about a quarter of the money raised to fund a loan, repaid just over $55,000 to an investor, and spent the rest on lavish trips to Las Vegas, gambling, and other lifestyle luxuries. One person close to Mullaney said that the former Navy SEAL owned a $1.4 million home, two luxury vehicles, frequently used cocaine, and once blew $40,000 at a blackjack table in one sitting, reports Fox News.
At a court hearing before a judge in late January, Mullaney attempted to withdraw his earlier guilty plea, but the judge denied that, citing precedent and telling the former SEAL that he couldn’t have “buyer’s remorse” now that the prosecution is complete. Mullaney faces up to 12.8 years in prison and will be sentenced on March 17.
On top of the theft and securities fraud, Mullaney may also face charges of theft for his real estate dealings with a SEAL commander whose wife hired the con man to sell their investment property so the commander could retire. They have since had to try to pay off medical debt for their (now-deceased) infant son and from the SEAL commander’s mother, who also died that same year. Mullaney sold their home for them, but kept the $345,000 profit through an illegal wire transfer to his own account. The commander has had to re-enlist for another five year term in order to get the family out of debt, despite his 30 years of service and eligibility for retirement. He told the judge the following.
“Mullaney has completely betrayed my family and me.”