Canadian Lunar Embassy Operator Sentenced
Two-year prison sentence, $500,000
fine for defrauding bank, investors; firearms charges dropped as
part of plea bargain agreement.
LONDON, Ontario /LUNAR JOURNAL/ 12
MAY â€” Lisa Fulkerson has been sentenced to two years in
penitentiary for defrauding a local bank and individual
investors of more than $1 million.
Lisa Fulkerson, Canadian
Lunar Embassy operator, was sentenced to two years in
prison for fraud.
Fulkerson has also been ordered to
make restitution of more than $476,000.
Fulkerson â€” who sold plots of land on
the moon as part of a business enterprise involving the
Lunar Embassy â€” pleaded guilty to seven charges of fraud
over $5,000 involving her Internet company and lunar property.
Another 15 allegations, including
firearms charges were dropped. She is scheduled to appear on May
20 to set a date for trial for an assault charge.
The 33-year-old Chatham, Ontario,
woman said: "I'm very sorry" before being sentenced in the
Ontario Court of Justice on May 11.
Judith Laprise, whom Fulkerson bilked
out of about $265,000, said she doubted Fulkerson's sincerity.
Laprise, who taught Fulkerson's
children, says she expects to lose her house because of the
fraud. She had attended most of Fulkerson's appearances at
"I don't think I'll ever see a
penny," Laprise told reporters.
Fulkerson served about three months
in jail before her plea last week.
Fulkerson's lawyer, Dave Jacklin,
says Fulkerson was "robbing Peter to pay Paul" when she
committed the frauds.
Jacklin said that Fulkerson was a
successful business woman who got in "over her head"
"She borrowed money from people who
were charging usurious rates," Jacklin told the court. "She is
extremely remorseful, but she found herself between a rock and a
Talking to reporters after the case,
Jacklin said that any money Fulkerson had gained from the frauds
went to pay off "loan sharks." Jacklin said Fulkerson should be
able to pay the restitution when she gets out of prison.
Official Moon Property
Support privatized exploration
of the Moon with a certified
legal lunar land claim.
"She was a very successful business
person," Jacklin added.
Fulkerson had previously pleaded
guilty to failing to appear in court on Nov. 12. She was
sentenced to time already served. She was
captured in Las Vegas in January, selling hand cream at
a mall outside a casino. She has been in jail since that time.
Crown Attorney Fred Creed told the
court Fulkerson had devised what he called a "kiting scheme, the
most complicated one I've seen in four years prosecuting
Creed said Fulkerson made fraudulent
daily payments to a bank account in an attempt to keep ahead of
her creditors. A forensic audit showed that between October 2000
and November 2001, Fulkerson made about $43 million in deposits,
but only about $2 million was legitimate.
Creed also told the court the Bank of
Nova Scotia in Chatham, which lost about $627,000 in the scheme,
wanted individual investors to be paid off first.
One of the frauds involved a local
contractor who gave Fulkerson $300,000 to cover costs of buying
American rights to the lunar sales business and for advertising.
When they tried to get their money back, Fulkerson gave them a
phony check certified from a bank in Grand Rapids, Mich.
The franchise rights were purchased
from the Lunar Embassy, a novelty moon deed company based near
Reno, Nevada. Fulkerson dubbed her enterprise "Moonland
Registry" and served as the "ambassador" for Lunar
Embassy in Canada.
Lunar Embassy is operated by Dennis
Hope, who contends that he owns the moon as the result of a
he supposedly filed in 1980. Hope had
gambled with Fulkerson in Las Vegas before she became a
Chatham-Kent Police Service Detective Constable Doug
Friesen told reporters that the investigation into Fulkerson is
"We have no evidence there are any
more victims out there," said Friesen. He conceded there could
be more people who were simply too embarrassed to come forward.
In accepting the joint submission on
sentencing, Judge Mark Hornblower told Fulkerson she had
breached the public's trust.
"This was an egregious breach of
trust," Hornblower told Fulkerson. "People were placing their
reliance on you as a respected member of the business community
that you would treat their investments with respect."
From Lunar Journal
staff and wire reports
Las Vegas Sun,
Chatham This Week
JOURNAL FRONT PAGE