BELLEVILLE BUSINESSMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO INVESTMENT FRAUD SCHEME
The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today that Belleville businessman, Edward Lynn Moskop, 63, pled guilty today in Federal District Court in East St. Louis, to mail fraud and money laundering crimes. Moskop faces a sentence of up to 20 years on mail fraud and 10 years on money laundering, as well as a $250,000 fine and 3 years’ supervised release when he is sentenced. Sentencing is set for November 18, 2011.
“I am absolutely horrified by Mr. Moskop’s actions in this case. It was emotionally draining to listen to some of Mr. Moskop’s victims at the hearing today. I have assured all of his victims that through my office, I will do everything that is legally possible in order to help them.” said United States Attorney Wigginton.
Moskop, operating as Financial Services Moskop and Associates, Inc., acted as a securities broker for several customers making mutual fund and other investments. In 1990, after a complaint made by the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) for misusing funds, Moskop had been barred from working as a securities broker. However, from 1991 to 2010, Moskop persuaded customers to provide him with funds for investment in various securities. Moskop created and mailed to his customers fraudulent receipts for these investments identified with fraudulent account numbers. In reality, Moskop stole for himself over $2,400,000 from twenty-five victims, including relatives, persons referred by trusted friends and attorneys, a local VFW Post, as well as longtime customers of his insurance business. Fifteen of his victims appeared at the plea hearing and told the Court how Moskop has damaged their lives by robbing them of their lifetime savings, with no hope of restitution or recovery.
The scheme was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the State of Illinois Securities Department and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Division of Enforcement, and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael J. Quinley.
People who believe they have been a victim of securities fraud should contact the Illinois Securities Department at 1-800-628-7937. If you suspect or know of an individual or company that is not complying with the tax laws, you may report this activity by contacting the local Internal Revenue Service/Criminal Investigation Office at (618) 622-2160 or by mailing information to: Internal Revenue Service, Fresno, CA 93888.