St. Petersburg Man Sentenced to 30 Months for Bankruptcy Fraud
Tampa, FL - United States Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces today that United States District Judge Richard A. Lazzara sentenced Jon Jerald Hammill (40, St. Petersburg) to 30 months' imprisonment for bankruptcy fraud. Hammill pled guilty on August 11, 2011.
In publicly filed documents, Hammill admitted that in or around August 2007, and again in or around June 2008, he invested $25,000 and $10,000, respectively, in a purported foreign currency (“forex”) trading venture named Botfly, LLC. The investment promised to pay him 10% per month, compounded monthly. Hammill regularly withdrew funds from his Botfly account in 2008 that were purported profits generated from forex trading. Later, in or around November 2008, through in or around April 2010, Hammill went to work for Botfly. In this capacity, Hammill and later Jon J. Hammill, P.A., Hammill’s wholly-owned and controlled shell company, were paid to handle investor paperwork, deposit investor payments, send out investor disbursements, maintain client contact, and promote Botfly to new investors. Hammill sent out emails to Botfly investors as early as December 2008, informing them that he was their point of contact for Botfly. Also in or around December 2008, Hammill began signing Botfly promissory notes as Botfly’s authorized representative. In exchange, Hammill and later Jon J. Hammill P.A. received a salary of $10,000 per month plus up to 10% of the principal invested by any new investors he brought in to Botfly.
When Hammill filed for bankruptcy on or about February 10, 2009, he failed to disclose on his petition or during the meeting of the creditors that occurred on or about March 17, 2009, that he had an investment in Botfly, worked for Botfly, or received a salary and commissions from Botfly. On or about the same date the Hammill filed for bankruptcy, he arranged for his payments from Botfly to be directed to his nominee shell company, Jon J. Hammill, P.A., in order to conceal his income. He failed to report on his bankruptcy petition or attached schedules that Jon J. Hammill P.A. was operational or that it had received and expected to receive salary, commissions and other funds from Botfly. Hammill made these false statements and material omissions knowingly and with the intent to obstruct, impede or otherwise influence the bankruptcy process.
This case was investigated by The United States Postal Inspection Service, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation with the assistance of the Florida Attorney General's Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Mandy Riedel and Department of Justice Fraud Section Trial Attorney Henry Van Dyck.