Former Scottsdale CPA Dan Wise rearrested on new charges

By Linda Bentley | December 2, 2009

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‘As the economy struggles, our office will remain vigilant in prosecuting financial fraud’

dan wise mug shotPHOENIX – On Nov. 24, former Scottsdale CPA Danny Wise was rearrested and charged with two additional counts each of theft, and fraudulent schemes, all class 2 felonies.

Wise, who was arrested in May, recently bonded out of jail and was placed on electronic monitoring after his bond was reduced in October from a $500,000 cash bond to a $360,000 secured bond, as he awaits trial on 15 felony charges for theft and fraudulent schemes totaling over $700,000.

Wise allegedly misrepresented to clients he had sent tax payments to the IRS on their behalf and then had his clients reimburse him for those tax payments, although he never submitted payments to the IRS on their behalf.

When the IRS claimed they received the parties’ returns but no payment, Wise, after being confronted by the victims who were charged with penalties and interest by the IRS, allegedly produced fake copies of checks made out to the IRS. However, the bank on which they were supposedly drawn said no such checks had never been presented for payment.
Two additional victims of this alleged scheme, one of whom has known Wise since the fourth or fifth grade and used Wise as his accountant for the past 25 years, has brought the total of Wise’s alleged theft to over $1 million and resulted in his arrest.

Wise’s CPA license was revoked on Dec. 10, 2008.

On May 20, 2009, Wise was found responsible by the Arizona Corporation Commission for operating a Ponzi-type scheme, was fined $5.7 million and ordered to pay $67.2 million in restitution to his victims.

The statement also notes Wise is currently under investigation by the FBI and other federal agencies, he was forced into an involuntary bankruptcy last year and all of Wise’s property and assets were seized and placed in receivership for liquidation ordered by the court.

It states, “Wise should be considered a flight risk because he has no ties to the state of Arizona. His CPA license has been revoked, he has no place of employment and he has no place of residence other than a friend’s house. He is responsible for large multimillion dollar fines and restitution and owns no property or assets. The $82 million he has been accused of stealing from over 125 victims of his Ponzi scheme has never been located nor has any evidence of locations of this money been found in records or on computers from prior search warrants.”

The probable cause statement said a $300,000 cash only bond will be requested, calling it a “paltry amount when compared to the $82 million unaccounted for.” 

Wise declined to accept a plea agreement and is scheduled to go to trial on Jan. 20, 2010.
Scottsdale police continued its investigation of Wise after the original 15-count indictment and, as a result, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office sought the additional charges. Deputy County Attorney Maryann McKessy is prosecuting both cases.

On Monday, Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, while announcing the new charges brought against Wise, stated, “As the economy struggles, our office will remain vigilant in prosecuting financial fraud.”