Top Port of New Hampshire officials lose $50,000 in alleged stock swindle
BRENTWOOD — A Maine man charged with selling $50,000 in bogus stock shares to two Port of New Hampshire officials further duped the men in 2011 by claiming the company's CEO was under investigation and his life might be in danger, prosecutors said.
John Rummler, 65, of Kittery, Maine, allegedly conned Geno Marconi, the director of the Port of New Hampshire, and his chief operating officer Alan Cummings into buying shares of stock for Wastech International between September 2004 and November 2005.
Rummler faces two counts of theft by deception and two counts of forgery for allegedly fabricating documents to convince Marconi and Cummings that they were investors in the former wastewater technology company.
New details about how Rummler — a founder and former president of Wastech International — allegedly perpetrated the fraud were made public in response to the defense's argument to dismiss the case.
Defense lawyer Timothy Harrington argued that his client cannot be prosecuted because the case was brought forward well beyond a six-year statute of limitations.
"Marconi and Cummings were supposedly buying a hot privately held stock that was going to go public and hopefully provide them with a significant return on their investment," Harrington said in a court motion. "Yet they didn't follow up Wastech's progress or the issue of a public offering for five or six years?"
The criminal investigation into Rummler began last July when Portsmouth police were notified about the alleged fraud by the New Hampshire Bureau of Securities Regulation, prosecutors said.
Marconi had given Rummler $10,000 to invest in Wastech stock in October 2004. Cummings paid $40,000 — profits from the sale of a charter business, according to court records.
Marconi and Cummings were given a common warrant stock certificate in 2005, prosecutors said.
Sometime after August 2011, Marconi had a conversation with a friend of his, Guy Marchesseault, who told him "that Wastech was sold off in bits and pieces to different companies and that there was nothing left of it."
Marchesseault once served as Wastech's senior vice president and CEO, according to published reports.
"(Marcheassault) also informed him that the investors were paid off and that they all walked away happy," Conway said in the motion.
Rummler was able to keep Marconi and Cummings from complaining to authorities in 2011 by telling them they needed to stay quiet because he was "helping the government" investigate Wastech's former chief operating officer, Craig Mullen, according to Assistant County Attorney Pat Conway.
In fact, Mullen had committed no wrongdoing, according to prosecutors. Rummler allegedly told Cummings that a retired CIA agent was funneling information to him, and that Rummler's life was possibly in danger.
"The story that (Rummler) gave to Cummings became more and more unbelievable over a period of time," Conway said in court papers. "For example, at one point (Rummler) told Cummings that he was informed by his CIA friend that he should back off because he was a high-profile Navy Seal."
Marconi sent an e-mail to in late 2011 to ask for his money back, prosecutors said. Marconi and Cummings filed a complaint with the state Bureau of Securities Regulation last summer. Last month, Rummler entered into an agreement with the BSR, admitting that he duped Marconi and Cummings. Rummler fully reimbursed the men $50,000. He pid a $2,500 fine to the BSR and $500 for the investigation, according to the consent order.