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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 9, 2013

Former Pacific Palisades Man Sentenced To Four Years In Prison For Investment And Mortgage Fraud Scheme

SAN FRANCISCO – Robert Hans Schenk was sentenced on September 6, 2013, to four years in prison for wire fraud, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced.

Schenk pleaded guilty on September 2, 2011, to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and eight counts of wire fraud. In his plea agreement, Schenk admitted that he fraudulently induced numerous individuals to invest millions of dollars in his businesses, Griffin Digital Services and Smartworld Solutions. Schenk admitted to using much of those funds to pay his family’s personal expenses. In addition to this investment fraud scheme, Schenk also admitted to using the identity of one of the investors without his knowledge and fraudulently obtained a $1.7 million mortgage refinancing loan in that investor’s name. The mortgage refinancing loan was used for the home in which Schenk and his family lived in Pacific Palisades, California.

Schenk, 52, was arrested on January 4, 2011, and has been in federal custody since that date. He was indicted by a federal grand jury on January 11, 2011. He was charged in an Indictment with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, eight counts of wire fraud, and two counts of aggravated identity theft.

The sentence was handed down by The Honorable Susan Illston, U.S. District Judge, following a guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349, and eight counts of wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343. Judge Illston also sentenced the defendant to a three-year period of supervised release and ordered him to pay a total of approximately $4.5 million in restitution to various individual victims and to the mortgage lender that suffered a loss with respect to the $1.7 million mortgage refinancing loan.

Kyle F. Waldinger is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Rayneisha Booth. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.