Coghill The Con

Thomas Coghill, Jr. - Con Man, Convict, Conspirator

The Coghill MO is a pattern of deceit beginning with the promise of high returns. He lures investors into the deal by making it sound as if there is a lot of money (usually with highly inflated estimates) to be made by people willing to put up money to fund his project. He then starts a company or LLC to hold the property and issues paper to the vic showing the loan amount, payment terms, etc. He may use that money as his cash to get in, but he also needs someone on the paper, since he is not bankable himself, so there is generally a partner or two who are in a position to get the bank loan. Now he has your money and has the money from the bank loan (or access to it), and, while he may continue on with that particular deal, he is also in the process of using some or all of that money to start another project, either on his own, or with some other investor or partner. None of the other investors or partners know about each other, and he is very good at compartmentalizing information, so that no one else knows what he is up to.

When things begin to close in on him and people realize there is something wrong, he starts to do the Coghill rope-a-dope.

a) "The stupid bank f***ed up the account." ("The other guy did it")
b) "The contractor went way over budget" and I'm going to file leins against him, and not pay him. (variation of "The other guy did it")
C) His mother (father, brother, sister) is very sick and he has to go see them, but he'll be back next week to straighten this all out. ("The sympathy play")
D) "My credit was ruined by a partner who was a crook, and I got blamed." ("The other guy did it" and "The sympathy play")
E) "I will give you additional security, and pay you more interest." ("Keeping you in denial")
F) "I would pay you, but...." Insert any excuse that you can think of, and he has probably used it. ("The other guy did it")
G) "Sorry, I wrote the check on the wrong account. Now I have to wait for that all to clear up, then I can pay you" ("I did it, but I didn't mean it")
H) "I have a big loan closing next week, and then I'll take care of it." ("Keeping you in denial" and stringing you along.. also has the effect of softening you up to accept partial payment)
I) "My partner took the money, and I'm suing him.. but I will pay you X$ per month." ("Keeping you in denial" and stringing you along)
J) "The stupid inspector did'nt do his job, the lawyer didn't file the papers, the realtor didn't do his job, etc. etc. etc...." ("the other guy did it")

He will issue or get someone to issue a piece of paper that makes you feel like you have security and that your money is safe... and then you find out that the paper is not filed properly or was never filed, or that the entity does not own the security, or there are four leins against the security with no equity, or he leases the security and cannot legally encumber it, and on and on and on.

If he told you he will pay you and you push him for payment, then he gives you a partial payment, or a bad check. When I went through the papers he abandoned, there were HUNDREDS of bad checks... to subcontractors, to investors, to employees, to the IRS, to his ex-wife (for child support), which often had the effect of getting the debtors softened up and either walking away, or reducing the debt just to get the hell out. Or he just ignores payment altogether, and, since he has nothing, owns nothing, and earns nothing, he just let's your collection effort run it's course. Typical is the attorney who represented him in a case brought by a subcontractor. The attorney advised settlement, but Coghill NEVER settles.. (the MO here is to fight to the very end, as he did with his fraud charges.. more on that in "Virginia Prosecution", and use even the most ludicrous lies or excuses to keep from paying) So they went to court and lost to the tune of $50K. The legal fees were about $7500. He never paid the judgement to the sub.. and the lawyer had to sue to get his fee.. and HE got a judgement, and HE never got paid.

If you have been involved with Coghill and gone through any of this, and still think that you are going to get your money back, I'm afraid that you are probably at the end of a very long line. It might now be time to take another look at what you have been told, what is on paper, what the chances are that you will recover.. because I can promise you that IF he gets out in January, we are not going to make the mistake of trusting the feds keep an eye on him again.. and he is going to be on probation for 3 years. Think about it.. and let me know if you have any information that you can contribute to our goals of seeing him brought to justice for any other crimes he may have commited, and making sure that others do not fall into the same trap.

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