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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Virginia

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Roanoke Man Pleads Guilty To Fraud Charges

Michael Leamnson Admits To Defrauding Clients Out Of Nearly $1 Million

LYNCHBURG, VIRGINIA -- A former independent financial advisor who bilked his clients out of nearly $1 million dollars with the promise of high investment returns, pleaded guilty this morning in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Lynchburg to fraud charges.

Michael D. Leamnson, 56, of Roanoke, Va., waived his right to be indicted and pled guilty this morning to a two-count Information charging him with one count of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud.

“Mr. Leamnson betrayed the trust placed in him by his investors and stole their hard-earned money." United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “Many of the victims in this case are elderly investors who trusted Mr. Leamnson with their life savings. This United States Attorney’s Office will continue to bring charges against those who defraud their clients, particularly vulnerable victims, like our seniors. We will also do all we can to educate the community about the kinds of fraud that exists and encourage them to be careful when making investment decisions."

Leamnson admitted today in District Court that he recruited investors for his company, Capital Creation. The defendant promised these “investors,” many of whom were senior citizens, that he would invest their money in safe and accessible investments. Leamnson told investors they could access their principle “on demand,” plus interest.

However, Leamnson admitted today that instead of using funds for safe investments, he instead simply deposited investor money into a general checking account which he used for personal expenses and outside business interests, including a small concrete company and a school fund-raising business. The defendant also used investors funds to cover “interest” payments owed to existing customers. All told, Leamnson defrauded his investors out of nearly $1 million.

At sentencing, the defendant faces a maximum possible penalty of up to 20 years in prison on each count and/or a fine of up to $250,000, on each count. The defendant will also be ordered to pay restitution to his victims.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the United States Secret Service, the Internal Revenue Service and the Virginia State Police. Assistant United States Attorneys Thomas Cullen and Daniel Bubar will prosecute the case for the United States.

Updated April 14, 2015