The owner and operator of a Florida investment firm received a sentence of five years in federal prison on October 17 on fraud charges. Federal prosecutors claim the man was involved in a conspiracy with others to defraud investors, which allowed them to accumulate approximately $6 million.
According to federal prosecutors, the 55-year-old Sarasota investment advisor pleaded guilty in March to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. In addition to a prison sentence, court documents show the judge also ordered the man to pay $3.4 million in restitution to those investors he allegedly defrauded and to forfeit $2.8 million in purportedly fraudulent earnings.
An investigation by the FBI alleged that the man, whose asset management and investment advisory firm had offices in both Florida and California, began perpetrating wire fraud with other co-conspirators in August 2012. Federal prosecutors also argued that FBI investigators also found evidence that he intentionally tried to mislead his investors and clients by hiding a previous federal wire fraud conviction in 2007. He was also accused of hiring a person to try and manipulate internet search results pertaining to his fraud conviction as well as to information about his previous bankruptcies, prior tax liens, adverse financial judgments and a debt of hundreds of thousands of dollars in restitution payments still owed to supposed victims of his previous 2012 wire fraud conviction. Court documents show the man apparently misused his clients’ investments by secretly issuing himself unjustified “salary” and “bonus” payments in amounts between $12,000 to $25,000 for personal use.
When an individual is the focus of a federal investigation into white collar crimes, their personal and professional reputations can often be seriously jeopardized or damaged regardless of whether it actually results in a conviction. An attorney might be able to help those under investigation for white collar crimes avoid more serious charges or receive lighter penalties if the case goes to court.