In a case stretching back more than a decade, the IRS reported on February 24 that a federal jury in Virginia convicted two men of a nationwide fraud scheme that bilked elderly investors of more than $20 million.
Of the two, a 78-year-old man from Scottsdale, Arizona, is facing the tougher sentence of more than 200 years in prison. The other man, 70, of Roseville, California, is looking at a maximum sentence of 90 years. Both men will be sentenced on June 23. They were found guilty of conspiracy and wire fraud. The Scottsdale man was also convicted of money laundering.
Eight other co-conspirators, including two women, had previously been convicted or pleaded guilty to various charges of conspiracy, wire fraud, investment advisor fraud, mail fraud, and money laundering. Their criminal enterprise victimized investors in California, Arizona, Idaho, Florida, Virginia, and other U.S. locations from 2011 to 2017. Six of the co-conspirators have received sentences ranging from five to 35 years. The other two accomplices are awaiting sentencing.
Vulnerable Victims Were Targeted
Most of the victims of the conspiracy were at or near retirement age. They were persuaded to cash out 401(k) and other retirement accounts to invest in the fraudulent wireless spectrum and dental franchises. The white-collar criminals misappropriated funds to award themselves exorbitant commissions to support their lavish lifestyles.
"The conspirators used material misrepresentations to sell illiquid, highly speculative investment vehicles that were then used as vehicles for fraud," according to the IRS press release.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia led the prosecution, aided by the Criminal Investigations Unit of the Internal Revenue Service, the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Virginia State Corporation Commission.
Why You Need a Lawyer
If you or someone you know has done the crime and is facing time, that's no reason not to fight for your rights. An experienced criminal defense attorney can negotiate with the prosecution to get you the lightest sentence possible. Call the Sigal Law Group in the greater Los Angeles area at 818-325-0570 for a free consultation.