On March 12, 2001, Richard Keith Mountain, 53, (aka: Nicholas Parker Cole), formerly
of New Milford, Connecticut, appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Roslyn O.
Silver, District of Arizona, Phoenix. Mountain was sentenced to 21 months in prison,
three years probation, 300 hours of community service, ordered to pay $98,750
restitution, and pay a $600 special assessment fee.

On April 29, 1999, Mountain was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury on 24 counts of mail
and wire fraud for misrepresenting to prospective buyers that the materials he was selling
were authentic and had been collected from the surface of the moon during the July 1969
Apollo lunar landing. On October 30, 2000, Mountain entered a plea of guilty to six
counts of mail and wire fraud in connection to this scheme. The investigation confirmed
Mountain sold sand-like granules to multiple buyers throughout the United States,
Australia, and Canada. These granules were scientifically tested and were determined not
to be of lunar origin.

Special Agents of the NASA Office of Inspector General, Office of Criminal
Investigations, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, conducted this investigation.
Assistant United States Attorney Michael T. Shelby, District of Arizona, handled the

For more information on this release, please call Samuel A. Maxey, Assistant Inspector
General for Investigations at (202) 358-2580.