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White collar crimes: Seniors lost investments of over $13 million

A bill was recently proposed to establish a Senior Investor Taskforce that will endeavor to protect investors in Michigan and other states who are older than 65. An FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge says the vulnerability of the senior members of the society makes them targets of fraudulent schemes and white collar crimes. The comment followed the arrest of a 58-year-old man who allegedly orchestrated several fraud schemes causing substantial losses to at least 17 elderly clients.

The man now faces nine felony counts counts, including conspiracies to commit mail and wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering through a Ponzi-like scheme. According to the indictment, the man allegedly duped longtime clients into investing over $13 million collectively in real estate by guaranteeing interest rates fixed as high as 8 percent per year. According to the complaint, the accused man transferred the invested funds to his personal account, using about $1.8 million for interest payments to investors every month.

Further allegations state that the investors' money was used to fund airline tickets, jewelry, clothing, cigars, massages and other extravagant purchases for him and his family. The FBI says the suspected fraudster had nothing but his own interests in mind, and he brought about significant financial gains for himself and losses for his victims. Prosecutors say a conviction can lead to a 20-year prison sentence.

Convictions for white collar crimes can be severe, and it might be a good idea for anyone in Michigan who suspects that he or she is being investigated to secure legal counsel. Regardless of how strong the evidence seems to be, innocence is presumed unless guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is proved in court. An experienced criminal defense attorney can assess the facts and devise a defense strategy designed to achieve a favorable outcome.

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