Office of the United States Attorney, Ann Birmingham Scheel
District of Arizona
May 15, 2012
TUCSON MAN INDICTED ON FOREIGN CURRENCY INVESTMENT FRAUD SCHEME
TUCSON, Ariz. - On May 10, 2012, a federal grand jury in Tucson returned a twenty-two count indictment against Anthony Eugene Linton, 57, of Tucson. The indictment charges Linton with wire fraud and engaging in illegal monetary transactions greater than $10,000.00.
The indictment alleges that Linton devised a scheme to defraud individual investors by causing them to invest in his “Private Trading Pool” (PTP). The indictment alleges that Linton carried out the scheme as follows:
- He falsely told potential investors that their funds would be invested in the Foreign Currency Exchange Market (“FOREX”);
- He falsely advised potential investors that he had developed software to make “strategically placed” automatic trades in foreign currency;
- He falsely told potential investors that they would make 100% return a year on their investments, with monthly checks averaging a return of 8.33%;
- He falsely advised investors that their investments would be free of tax consequences because they could “gift” him up to $12,000.00 per year to invest in the PTP tax free and that he could then “gift” their return on investment back to them tax free, for amounts up to $12,000.00 per year;
- He falsely advised investors that amounts invested in the PTP in excess of $12,000.00 per year could be considered “loans” to him, without tax consequences;
- Between October 2007 and April 2009, he caused at least 26 investors to “invest” approximately $808,685.00 in the PTP;
- Between October 2007 and April 2009, he invested only approximately $43,980.82 in foreign currency through a foreign currency trading account held in the name of his wife;
- At the same time (between October 2007 and April 2009), losses in the foreign currency trading account in his wife’s name totaled approximately $61,509.79;
- He paid investors approximately $331,127.44 in Ponzi-type repayments with the use of others investors’ funds;
- After March 2009, when the Ponzi-type payments began to decrease and eventually stopped, he falsely advised investors that new investment rules by Congress and a permanent injunction issued in his divorce case prevented him from returning their principal investment or making interest payments;
- He misappropriated a total of approximately $433,576.74 in investor funds, which were neither repaid to investors as Ponzi-type payments nor invested in FOREX; and
- Instead of investing in foreign currencies as he had represented to investors, Linton used the funds to purchase items on e-bay and to pay personal expenses, such as mortgage, car, and credit card payments;
A conviction for wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. A conviction for engaging in illegal monetary transactions greater than $10,000.00 carries a maximum penalty of ten years in prison, a $250,000.00 fine, or both. In determining an actual sentence, U.S. District Judge Jennifer Guerin Zipps will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. Judge Guerin Zipps, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.
An indictment is simply a method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The investigation was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation. The prosecution is being handled by Jane L. Westby, Assistant U.S. Attorney, and Danny N. Roetzel, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Tucson.
CASE NUMBER: CR-12-1122-JGZ-CRP
RELEASE NUMBER: 2012-123(Linton)
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For more information on the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/az