WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors Tuesday said they arrested a man who allegedly sent dozens of hoax letters with white powder to federal regulators and Chase banks around the country in retaliation for losing $63,000 in the failure of Washington Mutual Bank.
Prosecutors charge that New Mexico resident Richard Leon Goyette was angry at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Office of Thrift Supervision for how they handled the Wamu failure last September. Goyette also was critical of the subsequent sale of Wamu's assets to Chase parent JP Morgan Chase & Co., prosecutors said.
According to a criminal complaint, Goyette allegedly sent emails to FDIC and OTS officials complaining that he lost $63,525 on his investment in Wamu stock, and he accused OTS and FDIC of being corrupt. He also allegedly accused JP Morgan Chase of "shafting" shareholders.
In late September, Goyette allegedly sent an email to the FDIC and OTS saying, "I've paid a terrible price for those who will do whatever it takes to defraud, steal, manipulate, and screw over average stockholders. This seizure was the final straw and I will now pursue any path to get the return of my investment."
In October, Goyette allegedly sent 64 threatening letters to Chase Bank, the FDIC and OTS offices around the country that contained white powder and the threat that the person breathing it would die in 10 days.
Goyette allegedly sent an additional letter to JP Morgan Chase with a threat of "McVeighing your corporate headquarters within six months" - an apparent reference to actions of Timothy McVeigh, who was convicted and executed for the 1995 bombing of a federal office building in Oklahoma City that left 168 people dead.
Prosecutors said they traced the angry emails to a computer on the campus of an Albuquerque community college. They allege that Goyette later drove from Albuquerque to Amarillo, Texas, to mail the letters.
Goyette is scheduled to make an initial court appearance Tuesday.