Houston Lawyer Sentenced On Charge Of Conspiracy To Commit Wire Fraud In Corporate Identity Theft Scheme
Tampa, Florida - U.S. Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces that United States District Judge James S. Moody, Jr. today sentenced Roger Lee Shoss (68, Houston, Texas) to 18 months in federal prison, followed by 36 months of home confinement on supervised release. Shoss was found guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud by a federal jury on May 22, 2012, along with his co-defendant Nicolette Loisel, also a Houston lawyer. A final forfeiture money judgment, in the amount of $800,000, was also entered. The amount represents proceeds obtained by Shoss and Loisel, as a result of their criminal activities. A final order of forfeiture was also entered for Roger Shoss' residence in Houston, which was purchased with proceeds traceable to the wire fraud conspiracy. Nicolette Loisel's sentencing is set for 1:30 p.m. on September 4, 2012.
Shoss and Loisel were indicted on July 13, 2011.
“These individuals – both attorneys – conspired to make a profit through a sophisticated investment fraud and money laundering scheme,” said Sue McCormick, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations Tampa. “Homeland Security Investigations works closely with our law enforcement partners to identify and prosecute con-artists like Shoss and Loisel. "
”The U.S. Secret Service and ICE/HSI continually strive to enhance our law enforcement partnership by leveraging our respective capabilities, expertise, and manpower in support of our distinct law enforcement missions," said Special Agent in Charge John Joyce, of the U.S. Secret Service, Tampa. "The U.S. Secret Service and ICE/HSI will continue to effectively investigate, deter, and diminish the threat posed by various types of criminals to our nation’s financial infrastructure."
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, from at least as early as February 2005, through at least July 2006, Shoss and his co-defendant Loisel conspired to steal the identities of dormant, publicly-traded companies, use the corporate identities they had stolen to create fraudulent empty-shell companies which had the appearance of being publicly-traded, and sell the fraudulent empty-shell companies, which emanated from the companies whose corporate identities they had stolen for a profit. All four of the companies featured in the indictment – that is, Mobilestream, Inc. (which emanated from 3E International, Inc.); Regaltech, Inc. (which emanated from Pacific Chemical, Inc.); Nanoforce, Inc. (which emanated from Webgalaxy, Inc.); and Rocky Mountain Gold Mining, Inc. (which emanated from Greensmart Corporation) – were sold to or through Lawrence S. Hartman and ultimately used in connection with a sophisticated investment fraud and money laundering scheme. The administrative and money laundering functions of this scheme were headquartered in Pinellas County, Florida. Multiple wire transfers, totaling at least $800,000, were initiated from the Middle District of Florida to Shoss, in payment for the companies. Shoss, in turn, paid Loisel more than $450,000 for her role in the scheme.
The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations Tampa office, as well as the U.S. Secret Service, Tampa, Florida and Newark, New Jersey field offices. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Rachelle DesVaux Bedke and Kelley Howard-Allen.