BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — 12 p.m. Monday, Sept. 21, 2020: U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart held a news conference on Monday regarding Natalie Cochran who pleaded guilty during a hearing at 11 a.m. She admitted to one count of Wire Fraud and one count of Money Laundering.
Cochran will serve no less than three years and one month and no more than 11 years and three months. She also agreed to pay restitution of $2.6 million and not to contest the forfeiture of two properties, $45,000 and several cars.
Cochran is also now considered a felon. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 4, 2021.
4:25 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020: A plea hearing is scheduled in the case of Natalie Cochran who is accused of wire fraud and dozens of other charges. She was arrested in Sept. 2019.
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia set the date for the hearing as Sept. 21, 2020 at 2 p.m. It will be held virtually to comply with public health recommendations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
She is expected to plead guilty during the hearing, but the specific charges she will admit to were not released by the U.S. Attorney’s office.
UPDATE: Monday, Sept. 14, 2020 2 p.m.: The latest information on the case against Natalie Cochran shows a plea hearing is expected to be scheduled. The request came from the U.S. Attorney’s office on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020.
The request asked to court to set a date, time and location for a guilty plea hearing. Cochran’s attorney was advised of the motion for the hearing. There is no word on what Cochran would plead guilty to in the case.
59News reached out to the U.S. Attorney’s office on Friday. At the time, they could not comment on the existence of a plea agreement or what the terms might be.
UPDATE: February 4, 2020 3:30 p.m. — Natalie Cochran’s pre-trial motion hearing was canceled. It was originally scheduled for February 4, 2020.
A new hearing has not been scheduled yet. Cochran’s trial will begin on May 26, 2020.
UPDATE: December 17, 2019 7:30 p.m — A change was made to Natalie Cochran’s bond conditions.
On September 30, 2019, Cochran was placed on a $10,000 bond and home incarceration.
According to a motion filed by Cochran on November 26, 2019, she asked the judge to modify the conditions of her bond. Cochran asked the judge to remove the home incarceration requirement, and substitute it for either a curfew or home detention. She claimed she was fully compliant with the conditions of her current bond. She asked for the modification to help ease the burden of childcare on her elderly parents. Under home detention, Cochran would be allowed to take her kids to and from school.
On December 13, 2019, U.S. Magistrate Judge Omar J. Aboulhosn granted her motion. Cochran’s bond conditions will change to home detention on Wednesday, December 18, 2019.
UPDATE: Sept. 26, 2019 7:30 p.m. — Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019. U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart held a press conference in Beckley regarding the federal case against Natalie Cochran-which led to her arrest early this morning.
This afternoon she appeared before a judge Omar Aboulhasn at the Federal Courthouse in Bluefield, WV.
Natalie Cochran was arrested early Thursday morning following a federal investigation. She is accused of running a Ponzi scheme through her two companies — Technology Management Solutions and Tactical Solutions Group — which she falsely claimed to have government contracts.
Cochran faces up to 30 years in prison. She is charged with wire fraud, bank, fraud, aggravated identity theft, unlawful monetary transactions, bankruptcy fraud, and false oath in bankruptcy proceedings.
During the press conference, Stuart said, “We’re talking about 26 counting indictments, serious allegations, bank fraud, money fraud a million dollars of the 2.5 million that was raised, 1.5 million is still out there and so anybody of this capability and consequence incredibly smart individual has the ability to flee prosecution.”
The indictment alleges Cochran pretended to be a government contractor, intentionally misled investors to raise money for fraudulent schemes, and Intentionally stole identification from numerous federal and financial employees. Stuart said they are aware of 11 investors.
Stuart said Cochran spent roughly a million dollars in investor money to live lavishly.
“Cochran used investor money to fund her lifestyle for over a year and a half, as she was unemployed during the time of her work with TSG and TMS,” said Stuart. “She also used the investor money for extravagant purchases including jewelry, a 1965 Shelby Cobra and multiple properties.”
Cochran broke down in tears Thursday afternoon as a judge ruled she will be detained by US Marshals until her house is approved for home confinement.
A federal judge will set Cochran’s bond Monday morning in Beckley.
ORIGINAL STORY — Sept. 26, 2019, 10 a.m.: New details are developing in a case against a Raleigh County Pharmacist. Natalie Cochran was arrested by law enforcement officers on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019 in Princeton, WV.
The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia, Mike Stuart, held a news conference in Beckley to discuss the issue.
Ms. Cochran is facing 26 counts on various charges including wire, bank and bankruptcy fraud, as well as aggravated identity theft. According to the indictment, the scheme ran from June 2017 to Aug. 22, 2019 and involved defrauding numerous individuals and financial institutions of more than $2.5 million through her companies Technology Management Solutions LLC and Tactical Solutions Group LLC.
“A 26-count indictment alleging wire fraud, bank fraud, money laundering, aggravated identity theft and bankruptcy fraud,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “All indictments are serious and this is a serious matter. Ms. Cochran pretended to be a government contractor, intentionally misled investors to raise money for her fraudulent schemes, intentionally stole personal identification information from multiple individuals, falsely marketed herself and her companies as experienced, leading suppliers of government services while never being awarded a single federal contract and having two potential state contracts cancelled, and then engaged in bankruptcy fraud. I want to thank the work of my team and the West Virginia State Police, Secret Service, FDIC and ATF for their tremendous work in this matter.”
This past July, Cochran filed for bankruptcy. The indictment further alleges that she made several material misrepresentations within her bankruptcy filing and lied while testifying under oath at her meeting of creditors.
A civil case was filed against Cochran in July in connection with two businesses Cochran owned. Three of her properties were seized as a result of alleged bank, wire and mail fraud.
Cochran had an initial appearance in front of Federal Magistrate Judge Omar Aboulhosn at 12 p.m. on Thursday in Bluefield, WV. The case is assigned to Judge Irene C. Berger.
If convicted, the Ms. Cochran faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.