As if Managed Service Providers don’t have enough trouble
gaining trust, a former New York MSP owner still awaiting trial for allegedly
stealing his employees’ identities in 2006 is back in jail facing a new set of
federal fraud charges. Terrence Chalk now stands accused, along with his pregnant
girlfriend, of trying to bilk a BMW dealer out of several lease vehicles.
Chalk, 45, made headlines in October 2006 when federal
agents raided Compulinx Managed Services, his White Plains, N.Y.-based MSP. Chalk,
Compulinx’s CEO and a well-known Westchester
County businessman, was charged
with eight counts of stealing the identities of his employees in order to
secure fraudulent loans, lines of credit and credit cards. Chalk’s nephew,
Damon T. Chalk, 35, was also arrested, accused of submitting more than $1
million worth of credit applications using the names, addresses and
social-security numbers of Compulinx employees.
Terrence Chalk remained in jail in White
Plains until March 2008 when federal agents say his
girlfriend, Addriely Hernandez, 27, helped him make his $250,000 bail. Part
of Chalk’s bail agreement forbid him from seeking any loans, credit
cards or lines of credit either individually or as a co-signer, according to
federal court records. Once free on bond, however, federal agents say Chalk and
Hernandez went to work trying to secure a leased BMW X5 from BMW of Ridgefield,
Conn. for a company Hernandez had formed a year earlier called Citiventures
Inc. using mostly falsified business and accounting documents.
According to special agent Michael Mazzuca, when the
dealership asked for financial statements, Hernandez provided documents
indicating she and Chalk were officers of the company. Mazzuca said the pair
also supplied financial records for Citiventures that were identical to the 2004
audited records of Computek, the former name of Chalk’s failed MSP business.
The dealership approved the lease X5 lease, so Chalk and Hernandez returned to
the Ridgefield business looking to
lease a BMW X3 and a 328i. Chalk was introduced to dealership employees as “the
boss” of Citiventures and Hernandez offered more records that claimed the
business, which listed Chalk as CEO and
president, had more than $320,000 in the bank. Federal investigators say the
business never had more than $20,000 on hand.
When the FBI got wind of Chalk’s latest ruse, his bond was
revoked. He was taken into custody and returned to jail last month when he went
to court for a regularly scheduled pre-trial visit. He is now awaiting a hearing
on the original Compulinx charges set for later this month, according to
Herbert Hadad, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in White
Plains, N.Y. Hernandez, who is
four months pregnant with Chalk’s child, remains free on $100,000 bond. Both
face fraud and conspiracy charges in the BMW lease case.
The return to jail is just the latest twist in the downward
spiral that began on Halloween 2006, when federal agents raided Compulinx and
put and end to what many now say was a decade of deception.
As federal investigators dug deeper into the identity theft
and fraud case, it became clear that Chalk’s MSP business, which had won him
accolades from the media and membership in the Westchester Business Council
Hall of Fame, was based largely on lies. According to the Westchester County
Business Journal, which published several glowing profiles of Chalk, Compulinx
was providing managed services for the likes of Pfizer, Tropicana, Newsday and
Scudder. But former business associates say the customer roster and Compulinx claims
that it hosted data for hundreds of customers in four data centers with 300
servers and 40 TB of storage were total fabrications.
Compulinx was known as Computek until 2004, when it acquired
Linx Logic, formerly part of Ernst & Young Technologies. The company
developed its own proprietary software platform for hosting customers’
networks, dubbed Manage:Now, and moved on to launch its own partner program
that allows other resellers to team on managed-services projects.
Prior to founding Compulinx, Chalk, a native Long Islander,
worked at defense subcontractor Dayton T. Brown in Bohemia, N.Y., and taught PC
repair and networking part time at Long Island’s SUNY Farmingdale.
If convicted on the Compulinx charges, Chalk faces 165 years
in prison and $5.5 million in fines, prosecutors say. He faces an additional 20
years on the wire fraud charges related to the Citiventures-BMW leasing case.