Felony fraud record clouds adventurer’s past
Adventure traveler Gordon Hunsucker, who is organizing a disaster relief trip to Mozambique, was convicted in1995 of nine counts of felony securities fraud in Colorado after a failed effort to raise money to build a casino.
Hunsucker acknowledged the conviction Thursday. He offered assurances that his past legal problems play no role in his current fund-raising drive for $125,000 to pay for the Mozambique mission set to leave Reno on Monday.
Funds being raised for the Mozambique relief trip are being handled by the Evergreen Church of Christ in Evergreen, Colo.
Hunsucker was sentenced to four years in prison following a grand jury indictment in Golden, Colo. He was under the supervision of the Colorado Department of Corrections from February 1996 to December 1998, but he said he spent only five months in custody at a labor camp.
“I’m not trying to hide anything,” Hunsucker said. “This is something that happened because of a lack of knowledge. I didn’t get any of the money. I was convicted for failing to tell investors that there was a risk in investing. Colorado is one of the few states with a law like that. I didn’t even know I was violating the law.”
Hunsucker next week intends to take a few dozen volunteers from Northern Nevada, Denver and Boston to Mozambique to set up medical clinics and distribute relief items in the flood-striken African nation.
Some of the five Carson City residents who have signed up to join Hunsucker on the Mozambique trip were reconsidering upon hearing of Hunsucker’s felony convictions.
Hunsucker’s failed casino in Black Hawk, Colo., cost nine investors $361,000, according to the grand jury indictment filed in Jefferson County District Court. The indictment also included a bounced check in the amount of $50,417 – one count of fraud by check.
The investments were in the amounts of $30,000, $123,080, $25,000, $50,000, $15,000, $10,000, $50,000 and $38,000, according to the indictment.
Hunsucker sought the investments for preliminary work while seeking a large loan for the casino construction itself.
“We had a lease property in Black Hawk. I was in charge,” Hunsucker said. “We had received a commitment of $13 million from a lender. This lender turned out being fictitious. It’s nothing more than that.”
Hunsucker, a 1975 Carson High School graduate, said money from the nine investors was spent on building permits, designs and groundbreaking by the time the principal loan fell through.
The indictment alleged that Hunsucker told potential investors his firm had a commitment for a large loan and held a lease on land in Black Hawk. The grand jury investigation found that Hunsucker had no financial interest in the property in question nor had any lender made a commitment.
The indictment also said that Hunsucker’s firm was delinquent in payments on a pre-lease agreement for the Black Hawk property.
Hunsucker sought investments in the summer of 1992 for a casino being called the “GoldStandard Casino.” Hunsucker was president of GoldStandard Management Corp.
The grand jury investigated Hunsucker in 1994-5 and the trial followed in March 1995.
His period in custody coincided with the first two years of his adventure travel firm, Adventure Quest, which he started in Fraser, Colo., before moving the firm to Reno in January. He organized his first disaster relief trip, to Honduras, while in custody and left for Central America only 26 days after his parole ended.
“In spite of that, I still took the trip to Honduras,” he said. “I still go out and do what I do. There are people in this country that do nothing.”
“This thing is being appealed to clear my name,” Hunsucker said.