Financial Planner Sentenced To 8 Years In Prison For Fraud, False Tax Returns
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of Monaca, Pa., has been sentenced in federal court to 97 months in prison and restitution of $2,293,045.66 on his conviction of mail fraud and filing false income tax returns, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
Senior United States District Judge Maurice B. Cohill imposed the sentence on John D. Wosotowsky, 51.
According to information presented to the court, Wosotowsky was a certified licensed financial planner who worked for MetLife Securities. Over a period of approximately 10 1/2 years he stole approximately $2.5 million from 25 people, many of whom were quite elderly. Eight of his victims were in their 80's and six were in their 70's. Wosotowsky used the money to feed his gambling addiction. He told his victims that he would invest their monies in a safe high return investment product under the MetLife umbrella of companies. When the clients followed his advice, he put their monies into an account that he owned and controlled called Equity I & R. He often forged change of address notices and requests for disbursements. To keep clients and MetLife in the dark, Wosotowsky used a Cranberry, Pennsylvania address that was just a mail drop. In order to lull his victims into believing their investments were safe, Wosotowsky sent out regular statements that were completely fabricated. For those who had products that required monthly checks, he sent them. However, all of the monies he repaid during the scheme to victims came from other victims.
Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Cohill stated that this was a serious offense and that although Wosotowsky was addicted to gambling, that did not justify giving him a reduced sentence.
Assistant United States Attorney Nelson P. Cohen prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.
U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Wosotowsky.