Belleville Man Sentenced to Twenty Years' Imprisonment for Investment Fraud
Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that Edward Lynn Moskop, 64, of Belleville, Illinois, was sentenced today to the maximum statutory penalties of 240 months’ imprisonment on Mail Fraud and 120 months on Money Laundering to be served concurrently, and three (3) years supervised release to be served after he is released from prison, a special assessment of $200, and restitution to victims in the total amount of over 1.49 million dollars. The sentencing followed Moskop’s August 3, 2011, plea of guilty to the two count indictment.
United States Attorney Stephen R. Wigginton personally addressed the court for the victims and the United States and urged the court to impose the maximum statutory penalty for Moskop’s twenty years of predatory actions, which have caused serious permanent harm to his victims. U.S. Attorney Wigginton said, “ Mr. Moskop is a financial predator. He preyed on hardworking citizens who toiled for years at their jobs in order to save for their retirement. Instead, many of the victims lost everything. Moskop imposed a financial death sentence on many of these victims.” He added, “this conduct is reprehensible and Moskop deserved the lengthy prison sentence imposed by the court.”
During the late 1980's 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 was barred from association with any member of the NASD and was no longer registered to act as a broker in the securities industry. From 1991 through 2010, Moskop persuaded friends, family and neighbors to become his customers and provide him with funds for investment. Instead of making the investment, he kept the funds for his own use. Moskop created and mailed to his customers fraudulent receipts for investments identified with fraudulent account numbers. Moskop created periodic investment statements showing false interest and gains in the investments. Moskop obtained by fraud from 1991 to 2010 approximately $2,424,000 from twenty-six victims, who included his own relatives, persons referred by trusted friends and attorneys, a local VFW Post, as well as longtime customers of his insurance business.
The investigation of the scheme was conducted 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, which has filed a civil lawsuit against Moskop in the Northern District of Illinois. The criminal case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael J. Quinley and United States Attorney Stephen R. Wigginton.
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.