Up until this point in my life, I’d never experienced any serious run-ins with the law. Yes, I had a past, and I was a reckless kid at times, but this was serious.
As you read this, I don’t want you to have an opinion about my innocence or guilt in this matter – I know you probably will think about this, and it’s up to you. In my humble opinion, that’s not what this is about at all.
I plead guilty to two charges.
That’s a fact.
I’m not going to dispute this.
However, what you don't see on Google is this. In 2017 I filed a Motion for Early Termination of Probation to which the government Granted. It was warranted by my conduct and in the interest of Justice. You also don't see that this can happen to anyone.
What I do want to talk about here and what I want all of you to think about is whether this can happen to you. I’m here to tell you, that, yes, it can.
It’s almost impossible to engage in any kind of business activity without using mail and the wires. Think about that for a minute. How many business transactions go through the wires in this country every day? Millions, if not billions. That can be a lot of cases for prosecutors to indict! How many of those transactions go “bad?” More than you think. It’s an ongoing problem, and we in the business community certainly need to do our part to fix bad transactions and keep businesses running above board, but is this always a criminal matter? Should the feds get involved as much as they do? That’ll be for you to decide.
The difference between a civil fraud case and criminal fraud case boils down to INTENT – any type of fraudulent activity can be indicted, but proving a criminal case requires, obviously, a much higher standard of proof. Intent is a big word here.
Intent is what I argue the prosecution could never prove in my case. I never intended to defraud anybody. I was running a business. I was making thousands of decisions a day. I had people working for me. I trusted their choices. I had to trust the eyes and ears of many people, about merchandise, the quality of merchandise I was selling and buying, and the timing of shipments. It wasn’t an easy business to run. In the end, some tough financial times that struck the entire country ended up shutting us down.
One transaction in the thousands of transactions that company did that year did not go as planned. I get into the details in my book 'Don't Look Me Up,' but ultimately I was responsible for misrepresenting a shipment of energy drinks to a client. I ultimately plead guilty for this mistake. That’s what you’ll read about on Google.
Looking back, I can honestly say I made a lot of mistakes, but should I be criminally responsible for them? I guess that’s up to you to decide. I know that, if you read my book 'Don't Look Me Up' which gives a detailed look into my run in with the FBI, my life as a childhood runaway and how I bounced back through adversity, there will be times that you might not like me very much. But, there are times you might empathize with me, as well. I know one thing for sure – I’m not a criminal. I don’t always make the best choices, but I know my intentions are always just and honorable. I treat others how I want to be treated. I’m no saint, but I do my best to be honest and decent in every aspect of my life. I, for one, always appreciate folks who tell it like it is, and who are upfront with me.
Growing up, I didn’t have a lot of guidance and support, and had to teach myself a lot of things. This didn’t leave room for sugar-coating everything. Some people who are close to me understand and appreciate this part of my personality, but it makes some uncomfortable.
Of course, now with little ones of my own, I try to speak with more kindness, think about the impact my words have, and teach them how to live with integrity. What can I say? Life is work in progress, and so am I.
It’s been a humbling experience for me as I have reflected on my life and experiences thus far. Even when I don’t want to ruminate about my past, people frequently remind me that my name doesn’t spit out the best Google results.
At this point in time, if it weren’t for these constant reminders, I probably wouldn’t think about the wire fraud and money laundering charges as much anymore. It is no longer a part of my day-to-day thinking. I had done my best to resolve the situation and made restitution. But once again, life can never be that simple. You might have to walk around naked for a time, and the people in your life will learn to show some grace. I’m here to tell everyone that no matter what life gives you, you can overcome. Never Give Up.
You can learn more about my story by reading 'Don't Look Me Up.'
Scott Lumley filed a Motion for Early Termination of Probation which was granted.