Publisher of Loudoun Co. news site arrested on charges of fraud

The publisher of a Loudoun County news site has been arrested on charges of fraud.

Brian Thomas Reynolds, of Leesburg, was indicted on charges that he defrauded investors and lenders to Tribune Media Group, LLC, a company that he controls, which operates the Loudoun Tribune. Reynolds is the president and the publisher of the publication.

The indictment alleges that Reynolds, 52, lied about the value and existence of advertising contracts and created fake contracts. He also lied about the news site’s earnings and the amount of money that he and others invested in the company, a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Other allegations include:

  • Telling investors that another person agreed to match the investments of certain investors.
  • Saying that one of the company’s investors lacked any debt.
  • Understating the amount of debt owed by his company.
  • Overstating the amount of money the company had in the bank.
  • Changing agreement conditions on a loan documentation to defraud someone who lent money to the company.
  • Lying about the number of issues the newspaper distributes.
  • Claiming that a prominent business person was on the company’s board.

Reynolds was also charged with unlawfully possessing firearms and lying to the FBI regarding his use of firearms. Reynolds was convicted of wire fraud in 1996 and was sentenced to more than six years in federal prison, The Washington Post reported.

If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud (he was charged with 11 counts); 10 years in prison for the firearms charge; and a maximum of five years for making false statements.

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