20-year-old dies from injuries suffered in Union Avenue motorcycle accident

LACONIA — Police said the man who was involved in a Thursday motorcycle accident in front of Friendly's Restaurant on upper Union Avenue has died from his injuries.

Justin O'Connor, 20, of Gilford succumbed to his injuries after being transported to the Lakes Region General Hospital around 3:45 p.m. Thursday.

Police said O'Connor was headed south on a white Honda and collided with a silver car that was headed north but that was making a turn into Friendly's Restaurant.

Sgt. Ben Black said the investigation is ongoing and police ask that anyone who witnessed the crash or who may have photographed or recorded it to contact the Laconia Police at 524-5252 or the Laconia Crime Line at 524-1717.

O'Connor's friends have set up a Go Fund Me page to assist in his final preparations.

Laconia native guilty of defrauding investors of $15 million

BOSTON — A former Laconia man has pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud and one count of obstruction of justice for misdirecting $15 million from a mutual fund he has managed since he was in graduate school at Harvard University.

Daniel Thibeault, 41, of 881 Waltham St. in Framingham faces as much as 30 years in federal prison for securities fraud and 20 years in federal prison for obstruction of justice.

According to his plea agreement submitted on March 3 to the U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, Thibeault agreed to serve a total of 15 years in prison. Six of the eight other charges against him, including wire fraud, identity theft, and aiding and abetting, were dismissed.

He will be sentenced formally on June 16 and the judge is under no obligation to accept his plea.

According to a media release from the Assistant U.S. Attorneys Office, Thibeault was the owner of Graduate Leverage, LLC, which is an asset company he founded sometime before 2004.

He was also the co-portfolio manager of the GL Beyond Income Fund that was offered in 2012 that professed to invest in loans to individuals who were "'less susceptible to economic downturns like medical doctors, dentists, veterinarians, attorneys and business owners.'"

Beginning in 2013, Thibeault caused the fund to issue dozens of loans with hundreds of thousands of dollars in value in the names of individuals who were his personal friends. Federal prosecutors say the people named had no knowledge their names were being used and said they never got any money.

Prosecutors say the money was diverted from the fund at Thibeault's orders to pay for the operating expenses of Graduate Leverage and its affiliates and to pay for his personal expenses. This use, said the feds, was contrary to GL's representations to the fund actual and prospective investors. By the time of his arrest in December of 2014, more than $15 million, which was about 40 percent of the assets of alleged to be in the Beyond Income Fund, had been diverted.

Before his arrest, Thibeault was interviewed by representatives from the Securities Exchange Commission and later admitted he gave the false and misleading information that was intended to obstruct their investigation.

According to Brian T. Kelly, an attorney representing the victims of the GL Beyond Income Fund, many of Thibeault's victims were people of average income who were convinced by him, many times personally, to invest in the Beyond Income Fund.

Kelly also made references to money that was apparently deposited into two banks in the Philippines and said he fears Thibeault will go there after his release and "gallivant" around with his clients money.

On June 9, Thibeault's attorney Timothy Watkins filed a motion to strike Kelly's filing, saying he doesn't have standing and that some of his requests are tantamount to a sentencing recommendation, which he is not entitled to make.

As part of the plea agreement, a judgment of $15,300,403 is entered against Thibeault and he agreed to forfeit assets that include three parcels of land in Dorchester, New Hampshire, all of his and his wife's holding in Graduate Leverage, LLC., assets held in a number of numerous domestic banks accounts and brokerage accounts and all funds on deposit in the Philipines.

He must also forfeit his 2011 Mercedes, and the proceeds of any settlements he reaches arising from the bankruptcy of MF Global, Inc. as well as all of his tax refunds from 2013 on.

Thibeault also agreed to assist the federal government in locating and accessing those assets both domestically and abroad.

93rd running of Laconia Motorcycle Week

LACONIA — Welcome to the 93rd running of Laconia Motorcycle Week, the world's oldest motorcycle rally. The long-term forecast looks great, so, what else do you need to know if it's your first time to Laconia?

 

Where to go

While people who visit Laconia Motorcycle Week will spend time throughout the state, even crossing into Maine or Vermont, the epicenter of activity is Weirs Beach. Lakeside Avenue, and the boardwalk that skirts it, is the place to go to see the greatest concentration of motorcycles in the area. Laconia police will close Lakeside Avenue to four-wheel traffic, and depending on traffic, may also restrict access to the Weirs Bridge, leaving the area accessible to only to motorcycles and pedestrians. The Laconia Roadhouse, which springs up each year in the parking lot of Faro Italian Grill, located across from the intersection of Lakeside Ave and Route 3, hosts hundreds of vendors and entertainment.

Laconia Harley-Davidson, which is actually located in Meredith, also endeavors to host a Motorcycle Week of its own, with vendors, food and entertainment in its parking lot as well as the lot of the neighboring Hart's Turkey Farm.

The New Hampshire Motor Speedway is becoming a third major destination for Motorcycle Week events. The track, in Loudon, will host vintage motorcycle racing with a FIM North America United States Classic Racing Association event on June 11 and 12. From June 13 through 18, the facility will host seven-mile demo rides for the latest products from Harley-Davidson, Can-Am, Yamaha, Ducati, Victory, Indian and Slingshot. More than 26 races will be held June 17-19, and southern rock group Jackyl will perform on Saturday, July 18.

 

Where to park

A multitude of private parking lots in and around The Weirs will be happy to allow you to park your bike or car, for a fee. You shouldn't have to pay more than $5 for motorcycle parking, though parking a car might cost double or even quadruple that price.

Better than searching for a parking lot near Weirs Beach, then walking to the action, is taking the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad. For $15, round-trip, you can park at the Meredith Train Station and ride directly to the Weirs Beach boardwalk. The train runs every hour, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on July 11 and 12, and from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. June 16-19. Note that there's no train service July 13-15.

The train will also run from Lakeport, near the Elm Street-Union Avenue intersection, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on June 17 and 18.

 

Where to ride

The Lakes Region is an awesome place to ride, due to its plethora of curvy roads with scenic views of lakes and mountains. Head north for the Kancamagus Highway, running from Lincoln to Conway, or the Mount Washington Auto Road. There are many great rides nearby, too. White Oaks Road is a pastoral alternative to Weirs Boulevard. Route 28A in Alton follows the shoreline of Alton Bay. Waukewan Road in Meredith offers great views of Lake Waukewan, and Winona Road (which intersects with Waukewan Road) is a curvy and scenic ride into downtown Ashland.

In fact, it's hard to find a road in the area that isn't either scenic or fun; most are both. Afraid of getting lost? Join one of the many group rides offered during Motorcycle Week. Most of them also raise funds for worthy causes.

 

How to avoid the congestion

With the concentration of Motorcycle Week activities contained to Weirs Beach and the stretch of Route 3 in front of Laconia Harley-Davidson in Meredith, savvy locals know how to bypass these areas if they don't want to get stuck. If heading from Gilford to Meredith, take Route 11 to Union Avenue in Laconia, then take a right on Elm Street, then another right on Parade Road/Route 106. Right after crossing the town line in Meredith, take another left on to Pease Road, which will come to a stoplight at Route 104. Take a right onto Route 104, then a quick left onto Waukewan Street, which will take you right into downtown Meredith, having skipped both the Weirs and the Laconia Harley-Davidson congestion.

 

For scrapes and tears

If you're in need of emergency care, there are hospitals in Laconia (Lakes Region General), Plymouth (Speare Memorial) and Wolfeboro (Huggis). But, if you're ailment isn't of the emergency variety, you can access the walk-in care at LRGHealthcare clinics operated in the Hillside Medical Park, on Maple Street in Gilford, and on the third floor of Laconia Clinic, on Main Street. Hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the week, 8 to 5 on the weekend. For more information, call 603-527-2896.

If it's just your jacket or boot that needs mending, Daub's Cobbler Shop, on Canal Street in downtown Laconia, offers leather repair services. He'll also be happy to sew a patch onto your jacket.

 

Hungry, thirsty?

For breakfast, try Donna Jean's Diner near the Weirs Traffic Circle, Nothin' Fancy on Weirs Boulevard, or Kitchen Cravings on Route 11 in Gilford. For lunch and dinner, Ellacoya Barn and Grill in Gilford serves rustic American cuisine, The Holy Grail in downtown Laconia has the most impressive list of beers on tap, Patrick's Pub and Eatery is the place to go for dinner and entertainment, The Naswa on Weirs Boulevard has both a beach bar and fine dining at Blue Bistro, and the Shang Hai, on South Main Street, is the locals' favorite for Chinese buffet. There's also the China Bistro, which for years has been advertising, without a stitch of irony, that it serves the "Best Crab Rangoons in the Country." We'll let you be the judge.

 

For information about daily events associated with Laconia Motorcycle Week, visit laconiamcweek.com.

 

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