Archives For Investment Scams

John Thomas, 51, Chicago, Illinois, a real estate developer, was arrested on federal charges alleging that he defrauded the south suburban Village of Riverdale of funds provided for the redevelopment of the now closed Riverdale Marina. The defendant allegedly fraudulently obtained approximately $370,000 for himself from $900,000 in financing.

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Eliyahu Weinstein, 38, Lakewood, New Jersey, who was sentenced less than two months ago to 22 years in prison for running a Ponzi-style real estate scheme, was indicted by a federal grand jury on new charges of conspiracy, wire fraud, and transacting criminal proceeds while on pretrial release.

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Regina M. Preetorius, 47, Augusta, Georgia was sentenced to 280 months in prison by U.S. District Court Judge J. Randal Hall for her role in a multi-million-dollar investor fraud scheme.

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Douglas L. Swenson, 65, Eagle, Idaho, Mark Ellison, 65, Boise, Idaho, David D. Swenson, 36, Boise, and Jeremy S. Swenson, 41, Meridian, Idaho—each DBSI principals, were convicted by a federal jury on multiple fraud charges stemming from their public representation that DBSI was a profitable company when they knew that DBSI’s real estate business activities were universally unprofitable.

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William D. “Butch” Dickson, 58, Jackson, Mississippi, was indicted by a federal grand jury on April 8, 2014, on six counts of bankruptcy fraud, six counts of bank fraud, and five counts of wire fraud for relocated his businesses to Panama and Costa Rica and instructing his customers to submit their monthly mortgage payments to addresses in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Miami, Florida.

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Furman Otis Clark Jr., 65, On April 8, 2014, was convicted by a Nassau County, Florida, jury of organized fraud for his role in a fraudulent land development scheme. The scheme was intended to swindle investors out of more than $250,000.

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Benny Chetcuti, Jr., Walnut Creek, California, has been indicted and charged with wire fraud, stemming from Chetcuti’s real estate investment business.

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Fraudsters are advertising by mailings and phone calls, including a mailing titled “Payment Reduction Notification.” The scammers are using documents that have a Making Home Affordable logo and appear to set out a payment plan to reinstate the loan or modify the loan terms.

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Samuel Ray Palasota, 53, Houston, Texas, has been ordered to federal prison following his convictions on multiple counts of mail and wire fraud.

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Jonathan Lee Oliver, 41, Missoula, Montana, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy to Wire Fraud, Money Laundering, and Structuring.

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