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Clyde D. Hood is a former electrician from Mattoon, Illinois. In 1994 Hood formed Omega Trust and Trading Limited and began to lecture to church groups. He said that the Lord had given him a mission. He claimed that he was one of the international traders who could make secret multimillion-dollar deals to benefit humanitarian programs through debentures and "prime bank notes" in foreign banks. Hood asked for an investment of $100 and promised a payout of $5,100 within 275 days. He wanted the money delivered wrapped in aluminum foil and via Federal Express because U.S. federal government was trying to block the trades through the United States Postal Service. Therefore the scheme should remain secret. Thousands of people from USA and overseas sent money.
The program stopped accepting new investors in 1995. By that time, Hood had received more than $10 million. He began to present number of excuses as to why investors had not been paid, blaming administrative costs, problems with foreign banks and international financial conflicts. When some people still wanted to join, Hood and accomplices claimed that they could sell share units of people who had wanted to leave the program. The estimated total amount of money was $20 million.
In addition, Hood began new investment schemes named Alpha and Destiny and obtained more money from those who had invested to Omega. With the money Hood and his associates bought land and businesses in Mattoon, gave no-interest loans and made trips to Europe. Some of the money also went to finance businesses of other Hood associates like construction contractor Chris Engel.
Engel later cooperated with the police and let them tape a phone conversation with Hood. Hood lawyer Steve Ryan was also later removed from the case when he was subpoenaed as a witness and for possible collusion.
Clyde Hood and his 18 associates were indicted in 2000. Some of them pleaded guilty or were convicted of multiple counts of fraud, mail fraud, money laundering and filing a false tax return (see 26 U.S.C. § 7206).
On April 10, 2001, Hood pleaded guilty to mail or wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, and filing a false tax return.
On January 24, 2002 Hood was sentenced to prison for 14 years and was fined $5,000. Five of his associates were convicted of active participation of the scheme and were ordered to make restitution. Thirteen associates were convicted of money laundering. Three hundred fifty-five victims received restitution from forfeited Omega Trust funds to the total of $1,697,310.00.
The Omega Trust still lives on in the Internet as a supposed global poverty relief program (see NESARA).
Hood is imprisoned at the "Federal Medical Center Devens," north of Worcester, Massachusetts, and was scheduled for release in November 2012.