Last year, I warned that the “awards” touted on Christine Smith’s presidential campaign website were not authentic, and in fact were laughable given where she got them. I also warned that her “Outstanding American Award” came from Alex Merklinger, a New Age charlatan previously incarcerated for a $39 million fraud scheme.
In that scheme, Merklinger falsely claimed to be a surety for private companies bidding on government projects. When he was asked to pay claims under the surety contract and could not do so (since he wasn’t really a surety company, and allegedly had only had $13,000 in assets despite having taken $885,000 in surety fees), he filed bankruptcy, leaving the private companies holding the bag for millions. He also was convicted of multiple counts related to that fraud, and sentenced to federal prison.
I also warned that additional fraud charges were pending against Merklinger, due to a con in which he convinced an older gentleman that he was an Investment Banker, then pocketed $125,000 of the man’s money. Previously on El Paso County’s “Most Wanted” list, Merklinger was finally arrested on Wednesday, and charged with Securities Fraud in connection with the fraudulent Investment Banker scheme.
It is a very good thing that the delegates declined Christine’s candidacy, given how embarrassing this situation would be to the Libertarian Party.