Resident Of Florida Sentenced To 63 Months In Prison
CONCORD, N.H. – Steven D. Lewis, 61, of Loxahatchee, Florida, was sentenced in United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire to 63 months in prison for a wire fraud, announced United States Attorney John P. Kacavas.
From approximately November 2003 to July 2010, Lewis and another person, William Orestis, solicited money on behalf of a sham investment company, Equivest, LLC. Lewis and Orestis falsely assured investors that their money would be used to purchase foreign currencies and to support Equivest’s business activities. They provided bogus account statements to investors that falsely claimed that impressive profits had been earned in Equivest accounts by other investors. Lewis and Orestis also falsely assured some investors that their accounts would earn 12 percent interest annually. They also falsely promised other investors that their accounts would earn income at rates as high as 18 percent annually.
Lewis and Orestis fraudulently obtained $764,282 from investors, but they used only a portion of that money to buy foreign currencies. They also made payments totaling approximately $124,715 to some investors in order to lull them into a false sense of security regarding the performance of their Equivest accounts. As a result, the investors lost $639,567.
Lewis is currently serving a 28 month sentence in Florida for a larceny related offense. He will begin serving his 63 months upon completion of his current sentence.
The case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Bob Kinsella.