Purported New York Investor Pleads Guilty to Fraud Scheme
Caused Losses Totaling Over $543,000
Greenbelt, Maryland - Allan Richardson, age 40, of Brooklyn, New York, pleaded guilty today to wire fraud and money laundering in connection with a fraudulent investment scheme, causing losses to the victims of at least $543,000.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge David Beach of the United States Secret Service – Washington Field Office; and Acting Special Agent in Charge Eric C. Hylton of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office.
“Mr. Richardson preyed on investors promising huge investment returns, but he was the only one who profited,” said Acting IRS Special Agent in Charge Eric Hylton. “In order to guard against such fraud schemes, citizens are reminded that, if an investment seems too good to be true, it almost certainly is.”
According to Richardson’s plea, beginning in or about 2007 and continuing through November 2011, Richardson, using the names “Richardson Securities,” “Vantage Point Capital Management,” and “Meridian Investments,” promoted himself to potential investors as a sophisticated Wall Street investor who had been educated at Yale University. Richardson told his potential investors that he could provide investment returns of 50% or more. Richardson also told his investors that he would be investing the investors’ money in complex hedge funds.
In fact, Richardson was not a sophisticated investor, nor had he been educated at Yale University. After receiving funds from his victims, Richardson created fraudulent statements purporting to show that he had invested the victims’ money and that they were generating substantial gains. Richardson admitted that he never invested the victims’ money, instead depositing the investors’ funds into accounts he controlled and using them for personal purposes. Richardson also used several America Online (“AOL”) e-mail accounts to correspond with his victims, and assured them that all was well with their investments.
Richardson faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $1 million for wire fraud; and 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for money laundering. U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus scheduled his sentencing for May14, 2012 at 12:30 p.m.
This law enforcement action is part of President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the U.S. Secret Service and IRS-CI for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein praised Assistant U.S. Attorney Christen A. Sproule, who is prosecuting the case.