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Colin Chisholm pleads guilty to stealing more than $2 million from investors in television network startup

1/25/2017 10:55:28 AM

For Immediate Release:

SAINT PAUL – Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman announced that Colin Alexander Chisholm, 67, of Minneapolis, has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to mail fraud in connection with stealing more than $2.1 million from investors by lying to them about an investment in a purported television network startup. 

“Colin Chisholm is now facing the consequences for his long trail of lies as he ripped people off,” said Rothman. “Chisholm lied to prospective investors about his personal and professional background. But most damaging for his victims, he lied about what he was doing with the money they had entrusted to him. Stopping this investment scam and bringing this white-collar criminal to justice demonstrate the strong partnership between the Commerce Fraud Bureau and federal authorities.”

“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service will continue to protect the integrity of the US Mail and aggressively investigate individuals such as Colin Chisholm who use the mail to defraud individuals or businesses of money and property,” said Craig Goldberg, Inspector in Charge of the Denver Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, which covers Minnesota.

According to his guilty plea, Chisholm solicited funds from investors for The Caribbean Television Network, Inc., (TCN) an entity he formed purportedly to broadcast satellite television throughout the Caribbean. 

Throughout the scheme, which began in 2004, Chisholm told investors that TCN was on the verge of securing between $20 million and $100 million in funding to begin broadcasting, and that their investment would be used as interim financing for TCN. 

According to his guilty plea, as part of his scheme to obtain money from potential investors, Chisholm lied to them about the progress and viability of the main funding sources for TCN. 

According to documents filed in court, Chisholm also lied to investors about his personal background. He told some investors that he was the grandson of Hugh J. Chisholm, Jr., and the son of William Chisholm, of the Oxford Paper Company. In falsely claiming this family lineage, Chisholm gave the false impression that he came from considerable family wealth. 

Chisholm also claimed to be a Scottish Chieftain of the Clan Chisholm and claimed to have close personal ties to members of the Bush family, specifically to Prescott S. Bush, Jr., the deceased brother of former President George H.W. Bush. He further claimed to provide scholarships to Bowdoin College, where Hugh J. Chisholm, Jr., received an honorary degree.

According to his guilty plea, Chisholm also lied about his professional background, most notably making the claim to potential investors that he had worked as Vice President for Turner Program Services, had a relationship with Ted Turner, and had participated in the development and launch of CNN and CNN Headline News, including writing the business plan for CNN.

According to his guilty plea, Chisholm stole a total of more than $2.1 million from at least 38 investors.

This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and is the result of an investigation conducted by the Minnesota Commerce Fraud Bureau and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. 

Commerce is here to help

If you have a question or concern about a possible scam or fraud, contact the Minnesota Commerce Department’s Consumer Services Center by email at consumer.protection@state.mn.us or by phone at 651-539-1600 or 800-657-3602 (Greater Minnesota).

Media Contact:
Ross Corson
Director of Communications
Minnesota Department of Commerce
P: 651-539-1463 | C: 651-368-5050 | ross.corson@state.mn.us

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