$1.3M fraud alleged; Oxford man caught with cash.


Byline: Craig S. Semon

An Oxford man who was trying to flee the country on a private jet with his wife, five children and family dog was arrested with $1.3 million concealed in brown paper and plastic bags hidden in his luggage.

Allen Seymour of 23 Manor Lane, Oxford, has been charged with wire fraud and interstate transportation of property stolen, converted and taken by fraud.

Mr. Seymour is scheduled to have a detention hearing tomorrow in Florida before being returned to Massachusetts, said Christina Dilorio-Sterling of the U.S. attorney's office in Boston.

According to a criminal complaint dated yesterday and signed by FBI Special Agent Albert D. Lamoreaux, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers learned about a flight plan for a private aircraft scheduled last Friday, leaving the U.S. for Venezuela.

Later Friday evening, Customs and Border Protection officers arrived at Opa Locka Airport outside Miami, where the jet was preparing to leave. At the time, Mr. Seymour was standing outside the aircraft. His luggage, as well as his wife, five children and the family dog were already on board.

When officers told Mr. Seymour they were conducting an outbound examination, Mr. Seymour said he was going to cancel the flight and wanted to leave. In addition, Mr. Seymour refused to fill out a Customs and Border Protection 503 Currency Report form. After Mr. Seymour's refusal, Zeek, a search dog trained in the detection of U.S. currency, was used to examine the aircraft.

The dog alerted officers to the baggage compartment. Baggage was removed from the aircraft and Zeek alerted officers to two specific bags. U.S. currency in the amount of $1,360,421 was found concealed in the baggage.

The currency was wrapped in brown paper and plastic bags, which were further hidden within clothing and other personal effects in the luggage.

Mr. Seymour said the money was his, according to the criminal complaint.

The money found in Mr. Seymour's luggage allegedly belongs to Kevin Phelan of Hollywood, Ireland. Mr. Phelan allegedly was planning to use the money to purchase a commercial property in Coudersport, Pa.

On Feb. 1 in a civil complaint filed in Worcester Superior Court, lawyer Raymond A. Desautels III, South Beach Realty and Steven Testa were accused of taking $1,990,000 of Mr. Phelan's money.

According to the complaint, Mr. Phelan gave a nonrefundable deposit of $1 million to buy a building in Pennsylvania. On or about Jan. 24, Mr. Phelan wired an...

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