Federal agents have taken a financial advisor into custody on wire fraud and securities fraud charges. The arrest was announced on Oct. 1 by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. The 53-year-old White Plains resident faces up to 45 years in a federal prison if he is convicted on both charges. The investigation into the man’s alleged criminal activities was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The man is accused of bilking more than $600,000 from two people who lived in the same apartment complex as him. He is accused of convincing the first alleged victim, who lives on a fixed income and is confined to a wheelchair according to media reports, into investing about $480,000 in an Alaskan airline. Federal prosecutors say the man told the victim that his investment had increased in value to approximately $8 million but could not be accessed. When the victim contacted the brokerage firm to demand payment, the man allegedly threatened to kill him.
The second victim made three loans to the man to produce and distribute commodes to the African nation of Uganda. She is said to have lost about $157,000. According to U.S. attorneys, the man used the money to pay his credit card bills and fund a lavish lifestyle that included a leased Mercedes-Benz automobile.
Evidence in fraud cases
The evidence in cases involving white-collar crimes like fraud is often made up of documents and computer files that paint a very grim picture of the defendant’s alleged actions, but it is not always admissible in court. Criminal defense attorneys with experience in these cases may study law enforcement reports to ensure that the federal agents and police officers involved acted properly. When the facts suggest that rights protected by the Fourth Amendment may have been violated, attorneys could argue that documents or electronic records should be excluded and criminal charges dismissed.