Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Feds move to grab Seattle tech millionaire's Aston Martin

Federal prosecutors pursuing a fraud indictment against embattled high-tech millionaire Mark Phillips have a new target -- his wheels.

Once a rising star in the region's tech industry, Phillips, 35, may lose his 2007 Aston Martin sports car, if federal prosecutors have their way. Not that the car is doing him much good -- after being found near his bathtub after huffing dust cleaner, Phillips has been staying at the Federal Detention Center at SeaTac by order of a federal judge.

Following on several civil suits brought by investors, federal prosecutors in September filed a five-count indictment against the former-startup star alleging he tried to bluff his way into $11 million of company money.

Authorities claim a multi-agency investigation shows the Seattle resident rerouted $100,000 to pay for a pair of gold watches, and attempted to use forged documents to regain control of a company bank account after he'd been ousted as CEO following the theft allegations.

Federal investigators and Phillips' opponents in several civil lawsuits describe a web of businesses in which funds invested by a noted Seattle philanthropist shifted into Phillips' control. His former investors -- though not federal authorities -- claim Phillips misused millions of dollars to finance a Belltown penthouse, pay lavish expenses and make a down payment on a space flight.

Now, prosecutors are demanding the forfeiture of an Aston Martin DB9 registered to Phillips and left outside the headquarters of Jet-Set Magazine.

Found at the Seattle P-I

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