Oregon man accused of scheme involving $100 trillion in 'fictiti - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon man accused of scheme involving $100 trillion in 'fictitious financial instruments'

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HILLSBORO, OR (KPTV) -

An Oregon man was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges he issued more than 300 "fictitious financial instruments" purported to be worth more than $100 trillion.

Winston Shrout of Hillsboro was indicted Tuesday on 13 counts of making, presenting and transmitting fictitious financial instruments, as well as six counts of willfully failing to file income tax returns.

The indictment alleges that from around February 2008 to June 2015, Shrout devised a scheme to defraud financial institutions by using the fake financial documents that he called, among other things, "International Bills of Exchange" and "Non-Negotiable Bills of Exchange."

According to the Department of Justice, Shrout claimed they had monetary value, when he knew they were worthless.

The indictment also alleges Shrout promoted and marketed the use of fictitious financial instruments as a way to pay off debts, including federal income taxes, through seminars and private client consultations. Shrout is accused of selling recordings of his seminars, templates for the alleged bills of exchange and other materials through his website.

Shrout is also accused of failing to file income tax returns with the IRS from 2009 through 2014.

If convicted, Shrout faces upward of 25 years in prison on each count in the fictitious financial instrument case, as well as one year in prison for each count connected to the tax return case, according to the Department of Justice.

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