OTTAWA COUNTY MAN SENTENCED TO FOUR YEARS IN PRISON
FOR COMMITTING INTERNET ADVERTISING FRAUD SCHEME
Jeffrey Curtis Folkert Also Ordered To Pay $1.3 Million In Restitution To Victims
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – Jeffrey Curtis Folkert, 42, of Holland, Michigan, was sentenced to 48 months in prison for committing mail fraud in connection with an Internet investment scheme, U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles announced today. In addition to the prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Robert J. Jonker ordered Folkert to pay $1,313,786.88 million in restitution to victims of the fraud and a $7,500 fine. Folkert also forfeited $1.5 million to the United States, reflecting proceeds traceable to his scheme to defraud, in the form of a money judgment. Folkert was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshal Service.
Earlier this year, Folkert pled guilty to one count of mail fraud. He admitted using the U.S. mail to commit a scheme to defraud investors in his computer business, iStorm Solutions, by claiming that he was earning substantial profits through Google advertising. Although Folkert brought in more than $1.5 million in investor deposits using his scheme, he used very little money on Google advertising and admitted earning less than $100 in revenue from Google in 2006 and 2007. Nevertheless, Defendant mailed monthly statements to investors reporting substantial monthly “dividends,” giving investors the false impression that their investment in Google advertising was safe, earning substantial profits, and available for withdrawal by investors. Folkert admitted using investor funds to pay for his personal expenses, to transfer money to foreign accounts located outside the United States to use for Internet gambling, to purchase new vehicles, make bogus “dividend” payments to certain investors, and to cover withdrawals requested by investors.
Noting that the investigation and prosecution of financial fraud, and “Ponzi” schemes in particular, remains a high priority in West Michigan, U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles applauded the efforts of both federal and state law enforcement in their investigation of the fraud. The investigation required substantial efforts to trace the transfer of over $1 million of investor funds to foreign countries from which, unfortunately, the money could not be recovered.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Michigan State
Police, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher O’Connor..