News and Press Releases

Burlington, new jersey man sentenced to 71 months in prison for scamming victims with phony real estate, film and television investments



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 10, 2011


 

TRENTON, N.J. – Martin Gevers was sentenced today to 71 months in federal prison for a scheme in which he sought investments purportedly for real estate, film, and television ventures, then took the money for his personal use, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Gevers, 52, of Burlington, N.J., pleaded guilty on November 9, 2010, to an Information charging one count each of wire fraud and money laundering. He entered his guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson, who also imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Gevers solicited loans allegedly to fund real estate ventures and movie and television productions, providing false tax returns and false financial statements to potential investors. Those documents purported to show he had an adjusted gross income of more than $1.5 million and a net worth of more than $14 million. Gevers told potential investors that he could not access his assets because they were frozen by a judge handling his divorce proceedings.

Investors were told they would receive returns ranging from twenty-five to seventy percent, or more. However, Gevers did not invest the money he received. Instead, he used it for personal expenditures, including payments to credit card companies, cash withdrawals and payments on personal loans.

Specifically, Gevers admitted that in 2008, he approached an individual identified in court records as B.K. and asked for a $400,000 loan to assist in funding a film. Gevers admitted that he represented, in the form of a financial statement, that he had total cash or equivalent assets in an amount of $12.2 million – but that those assets were not available at the time. He also admitted that immediately after receiving $399,960 from the victim, he transferred $19,500 for personal expenditures.

Gevers fraudulently obtained more than $1.5 million dollars as a result of the scheme.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Wolfson sentenced Gevers to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay a total of $1,190,272 in restitution to 11 victims of his scheme.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI’s Trenton Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward in Newark; IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Victor W. Lessoff; and postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge Karen Higgins in Philadelphia, for the investigation leading to today’s sentence.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Davenport of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Trenton.

11-101                                                                                          

Defense counsel: James R. Murphy, Esq., Princeton, N.J.

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