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March 2, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Bellevue attorney charged in alleged Ponzi scheme

A Bellevue attorney has been charged with a single count of wire fraud for his alleged involvement in the embezzling $10 million from an investor in an Indonesian oil-and-gas Ponzi scheme.

George Atwater was vice president and general counsel of Laramie Petroleum, operated by convicted Bellevue con-man Robert Miracle. Miracle is serving a 13-year federal prison sentence after pleading guilty to mail fraud, money-laundering and tax evasion for his operation of Laramie Petroleum and another oil- and gas-development firm called MCube.

Atwater was general counsel at MCube as well, according to charges filed in U.S. District Court earlier this week. Investors in the companies lost more than $20 million, according to prosecutors.

The charges allege that Atwater altered statements for MCube’s bank accounts to show the company was successful in order to falsely secure a $10 million loan from an investor in 2006.

Atwater has waived his right to indictment by a grand jury, which often means a plea-agreement is in the works.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Ponzi scheme, U.S. Attorney's Office, U.S. District Court

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