FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
THURSDAY - August 14, 2008
RALEIGH WOMAN SENTENCED TO OVER 9 YEARS FOR INVESTMENT FRAUD
NEW BERN - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court on August 13, 2008, Chief United States District Judge Louise Wood Flanagan sentenced PATRICIA JEANETTE JACOBY, 43, of Raleigh, North Carolina, to 115 months’ imprisonment followed by three years supervised release. Judge Flanagan also imposed restitution in the amount of $1,639,741.29.A Criminal Information was filed on January 16, 2008. On March 5, 2008, JACOBY pled guilty to wire fraud. In October, 2005, JACOBY, began conducting business as POSH! Fine Arts and Antiques. POSH! bought and sold antiques and decorative items. Eventually, JACOBY, wanting to expand, decided to solicit investors for the venture.
JACOBY falsely represented to investors that she was buying estate lots of antiques and had pre-identified out of state buyers who would purchase the entire lot. JACOBY told investors that due to the mark-up and quick turn around, she was able to offer a 22℅ return on investments within 30 days.
After JACOBY paid the stated rates of return to initial investors, JACOBY quickly expanded the scheme by asking initial investors if they knew of others who would be interested in the opportunity. JACOBY was able to keep the scheme operating by using new investor’s money to pay returns to prior investors. However, as the dollar amount grew, JACOBY became delinquent on the monthly interest payments. JACOBY began issuing checks to investors knowing that she did not have the money in the bank to cover the checks. The scheme eventually collapsed when several large investors demanded a return of both principal and interest.
JACOBY collected more than $3.0 million dollars during the 16-month period of the scheme which occurred from February 2006, until June 2007.
Mr. Holding commented on the results in the case: “While this scheme involved seemingly legitimate plans and gave off the appearance of respectability, it still offered a return on investment that was too good to be true. As we have warned so many times before, if an investment or opportunity seems to good to be true, it usually is.”
Investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Felice McConnell Corpening served as prosecutor for the government.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.