Todd A. Hoss

Hydro sponsor indicted

The president of a Seattle investment firm is facing federal fraud charges as prosecutors claim he lied to dozens of investors and cost them nearly $6 million.

In an indictment unsealed earlier this week, federal prosecutors claim Todd A. Hoss used investors’ money to buy Seahawks box seats, make alimony payments and sponsor a hydroplane. He’s also alleged to have used the money to pay off other investors whose money he’d lost.

Hoss, 46, tricked investors by claiming their money would fund developments that didn’t exist or were far less sound than he claimed, according to the federal indictment. He is alleged to have used their money to pay back earlier investors, costing 39 investors at least $5.9 million.

According to charging documents, Hoss, as president and sole owner of Hoss Mortgage Investors Inc., took in investments to finance high-risk loans to businesses – chiefly developers who did not qualify for conventional bank loans.

“Hoss caused (the escrow company) to commingle the investor funds with other (Hoss Mortgage Investment) funds and disburse the funds to pay for ... business and personal expenses, including payments to his ex-wife, payments for company cars, a suite for Seattle Seahawks football games, and sponsorship of a racing hydroplane,” the prosecutors said in the indictment.

Over the years, Hoss has sponsored several Unlimiteds in Seattle including the Gregory’s U-10, Cooper’s U-3, the Schumachers’ U-37, and Fred Leland’s U-100.

[Reprinted from Thunderboat, December 2011]