Houston Lawyer Sentenced In Corporate Identity Theft Scheme
Tampa, Florida - U.S. District Judge James S. Moody, Jr. today sentenced Nicolette Loisel (56, Houston, Texas) to 12 months and one day in federal prison, followed by 36 months of supervised release, for conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Loisel, a Houston lawyer, was found guilty by a federal jury on May 22, 2012, along with her co-defendant Roger Lee Shoss, also a Houston lawyer. Shoss was sentenced on August 9, 2012, to 18 months in federal prison, followed by 36 months of home confinement. A final forfeiture money judgment in the amount of $800,000 was entered against Loisel and Shoss, representing the proceeds of their criminal activities.
Loisel and Shoss were indicted on July 13, 2011.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, from at least as early as February 2005 through at least July 2006, Loisel and Shoss 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 those fraudulent empty-shell companies for a profit. All four of the companies featured in the indictment – 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 the 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.
“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, 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."
The case was investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), as well as the U.S. Secret Service, Tampa, and Newark, New Jersey Field Offices. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Rachelle DesVaux Bedke and Kelley Howard-Allen.