Scam Investor Sentenced in Fraud Scheme

Told Potential Investors That He Could Provide Returns of 50% or More from Complex Hedge Funds: Caused Losses Totaling Over $543,000

May 14, 2012

Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus sentenced Allan Richardson, age 50, of Brooklyn, New York, today to 46 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for wire fraud and money laundering in connection with a fraudulent investment scheme resulting in losses to individual investors of $575,819.

The sentence 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 his plea agreement, from 2007 to November 2011, Richardson, using the names “Richardson Securities,” “Vantage Point Capital Management” and “Meridian Investments,” promoted himself to potential investors in Maryland and elsewhere as a sophisticated Wall Street investor who had been educated at Yale University. Richardson claimed that he could provide investment returns of 50% or more, and 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. Richardson created fraudulent statements purporting to show that substantial gains were generated from investing the victims’ money. Richardson admitted, however, that instead of investing the victims’ money, he deposited the investors’ funds into accounts he controlled for his personal use. Richardson also used several America Online e-mail accounts to correspond with his victims, and assured them that all was well with their investments.

As a result of the scheme, the victim investors lost a total of $575,819.

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 prosecuted the case.

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