Archives For Investment Scams

James Currey, 55, Orlando, Florida, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in connection with a telemarketing scam wherein the defendant targeted timeshare owners and falsely promised a buyer for their properties in exchange for a fee.

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Karen Hanover, 48, Seal Beach, California, was sentenced to 35 months in federal prison for operating a $1.4 million fraud scheme that bilked clients who paid money in response to false promises of ownership in commercial real estate.

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Fraudulent investment property schemes are on the rise in the form of straw borrowers, abnormally high appraisals, evasion of purchase guidelines and large numbers of purchased properties. Real estate investment scams typically spread by word-of-mouth and require people to invest large sums of money in investment properties. These types of scam promise a large increase in the value of the property resulting high returns or unusually high interest on contributed funds.

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Mark Gardner, 28, Osteen, Florida, and Tammie Lynn Cline, 32, Leominster, Massachusetts, have been charged with one count of conspiracy, five counts of wire fraud, and four counts of money laundering for their alleged role in convincing time share owners to pay a fee in exchange for a prospective buyer.

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Andrew Avery, 39, has been arraigned on federal charges of wire fraud and mail fraud stemming from an alleged investment fraud scheme.  Avery fled the country, but was extradited from Thailand and arrested on January 26, 2015.  He is currently in federal custody.

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Kathleen Niew, 59, Burr Ridge, Illinois, a real estate attorney and radio talk show host was sentenced to 70 months imprisonment for stealing approximately $2.34 million from her clients that was intended for commercial real estate closings.

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John Reid Perkins, 45, Charlotte, North Carolina, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr. to serve 64 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release on securities fraud conspiracy charges and for violating the terms of his supervised release stemming from a previous federal conviction.

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Jasper Buck, 59, formerly of Westminster, Maryland, and Lake Mary, Florida, has been indicted and charged with mail fraud arising from an investment fraud scheme wherein he allegedly misrepresented to investors that their funds would be used for hard money lending.

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George Christo George, 55, Las Vegas, Nevada, was sentenced for six to 20 years in prison for defrauding several Northern Nevadans of more than $238,000 through elaborate schemes including a false business partner posing as a wealthy sheikh to lure victims into bogus real estate deals and to investments in a luxury downtown Reno high rise condominium.

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Mervyn A. Phelan, Sr., 74, Newport Beach, California, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz to five years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for a wire fraud conspiracy, wire fraud and obstruction of justice from a $17.4 million investment fraud scheme.

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