Gorham treasure hunter schemed to defraud investors
By Eric Russell - Portland Press Herald
The principal researcher for failed treasure hunter Greg Brooks of Gorham conceded to a federal investigator that the two carried out a “scheme to defraud investors” who were bankrolling the salvage of a shipwreck off Cape Cod.
Edward Michaud of Framingham, Massachusetts, said Brooks “pressured him to alter documents based on pressure that Sea Hunters (Brooks’ salvage company) was facing with potential investors who were interested in the Port Nicholson.”
Those revelations were contained in an affidavit unsealed Thursday that was filed in U.S. District Court in December seeking a warrant to search Brooks’ home and business on Gray Road in Gorham.
Although Brooks has not been charged with a crime, the investigator, William Johnston of the National Archives and Records Administration’s Office of Inspector General, wrote that probable cause exists that Brooks and his company “committed a criminal offense,” specifically wire fraud, false statements and forgery of ship’s papers.
The search of Brooks’ property, including documents and computers, has already happened. Any charges against Brooks would come in the form of a criminal complaint or grand jury indictment.
He also could settle before charges are filed. The U.S. Attorney’s Office declined Thursday to comment on the case.