JZ Knight Pitched Pricy Investment Scam, Lied to Feds for Tax Credit

JZ’s Knock-Out Pitch to Potential Investors – A Shell Game with a Phony Tax Credit

The cherry on top of JZ’s 2007 investment pitch for RSE International was a hefty tax credit that Knight claimed would provide 30% of the funding to rebuild and update the RSE facilities, as well as paying the remaining buyout from her.

In other words, the investors would own 100% of RSE by only pitching in 70%. The taxpayers would pony up the other 30%, free and clear.

A sweet deal, for sure. If it were real.

JZ’s tax credit pitch was for the U.S. Treasury’s CDFI New Markets Tax Credit Program. This program was established to stimulate investment in low-income communities.

In 2007, the credits were being used to help rebuild the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina.

Not much of a close fit for a pricy New Age resort like RSE that caters to celebrities.

But Robert Hoffman–JZ’s “CPA” and corporate agent–gave it a good try anyway.

But with one teeny little change.

Hoffman and Knight didn’t apply for the tax credit under RSE International, Inc.

They applied under JZK Inc. — JZ’s privately owned corporation.

JZ Knight would have collected the largess from a tax credit that she probably couldn’t have legitimately qualified for in a million years.

JZ would have collected the benefits…and not her serially hoodwinked investors. This was, once again, just another horse scam of a different color.

And another apparent run-in with Washington’s securities law, as well as SEC Regulation Dfoia tax credit 2

Might As Well Lie To The Feds, Too

On the application for the CDFI New Markets Tax Credit Program, JZK claimed to be a New Market Venture Capital Company, through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA.)

That’s a big deal. To this date, there aren’t very many of them in the whole country, that made the cut.

And according to SBA’s Mark Costello, JZK didn’t make the cut.  Not in 2007.  Not ever.cdfi application

U.S. Code 18, Section 1001 states:

whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully –

(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;

(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or

(3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry; shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years.

But JZ can’t take all the credit for this one.  She had some help.

Her “CPA” Robert Hoffman filled it out for her.cdfi hoffman

U.S. Code 18 Section 286 states:

Whoever enters into any agreement, combination, or conspiracy to defraud the United States, or any department or agency thereof, by obtaining or aiding to obtain the payment or allowance of any false, fictitious or fraudulent claim, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

This isn’t the only time that Robert Hoffman has helped someone associated with RSE.

He helped two of JZ’s followers with their own creative project in Vermont. Yet another film.

Twenty-eight million dollars later, Mac Parker and Lou Soteriou are now cooling their heels in federal prison.

It was the largest fraud in Vermont’s history.

In this video, Mac Parker explains the connection of their “film project” to the teachings of Ramtha School of Enlightenment.

Robert Hoffman showed up to testify at the sentencing of his RSE cohort, Lou Soteriou.  Soteriou had been the mastermind behind the record breaking fraud.

Hoffman testified to his own role in the grift.  When some of the scam victims had turned to Vermont’s authorities to help them get their money back, Hoffman had jumped in and offered a way around such unpleasantness–with his expertise as a “CPA.”

Hoffman repeatedly stated under oath that he was a CPA in both California and Washington State, and that he had been the CPA for the Ramtha School of Enlightenment.  Here are the transcripts from Soteriou’s sentencing hearing – Hoffman’s testimony is on pages 120-125. Soteriou sentencing with Hoffman testimony 8-19-13

Lou Soteriou went to federal prison.  Robert Hoffman went back to his life in California.  Hoffman appeared to have cut ties with JZ Knight in 2008 and disappeared.  Former RSE friends worried about him.

Apparently, their worry was for naught.

JZ’s “CPA” Today – in California and Washington

Robert Hoffman is currently the Chief Financial Officer of a large medical corporation in southern California.  On his corporate webpage, he again claims to be a CPA–just as he did at his RSE friend’s sentencing.  (If Hoffman removes his CPA claims from his webpage, screen shots of his claims are below.)

The State Accountancy Boards of California and Washington beg to differ with Robert Hoffman’s CPA claims.

Neither state has any record of Hoffman being a CPA at any time.

Perjury in a U.S. Federal Court can bring a fine and five years in prison.

And it appears that Robert Hoffman hasn’t strayed too far from JZ Knight, RSE, and Yelm.

In recent years, JZ Knight has apparently thought about reawakening RSE International.

In this video clip from a 2012 RSE event, JZ Knight leads her followers in the following toast:

“To RSE International –

It made you what you are, and let us pray it will make you into the future.” 

There is no documentation that JZ Knight ever transferred ownership of RSE from her own corporation to RSE International.  RSE International was only in Washington State records for a year, with no activity shown.