Fraud in La Grande

A La Grande Internet company faces money laundering charges.

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Global Online Direct was created by two La Grande residents as a sort of wholesale product investment site. Now, after failing to follow through on its promises to investors, the company is facing money laundering charges.

Hunter and Behrmann, Buck and Bry to their friends, were more into flea markets. The La Grande duo told the world via their Web site that they had a line on cut-rate retail merchandise that they could resell at a fat profit: garage sales on a grand scale enabled by digital technology.

The unorthodox business plan for a time caused rivers of money to flow through the Blue Mountains. Between 2005 and 2007, about 8,000 people, from British Columbia to Georgia, threw more than $40 million into Hunter and Behrmann’s business, Global Online Direct, lured by promises of returns as high as 1 percent a day.

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