November 19, 2012
Department of Justice
United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee
Brian Keith Miller Sentenced To Serve 80 Months In Prison For Wire Fraud Scheme
Ponzi Scheme Used to Dupe Victims in Maryville Community
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Brian Keith Miller, 47, of Maryville, Tenn., was sentenced on November 19, 2012, by the Honorable Thomas W. Phillips, U.S. District Court Judge, to serve 80 months in federal prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $1,425,018.21 in restitution to 22 victims, including $142,771 in unpaid federal income taxes to the Internal Revenue Service.
Miller was indicted in March 2012 and pleaded guilty in July 2012 to wire fraud, money laundering, and filing false federal income tax returns. The guilty pleas and sentence stemmed from Miller's execution of a scheme to dupe victims in the Maryville community into entrusting over $1,000,000 to him, purportedly to invest in various ventures that Miller touted would provide the victims with substantial returns. Instead of investing the victims' funds provided to him as promised, however, Miller converted the funds to his own personal use and benefit. Further, Miller used some of the victims’ money to make payments to other investors and lull his victims into believing that the investments were legitimate. Miller's victims included friends, fellow churchgoers, and members of his extended family.
During the sentencing hearing, three of Miller's victims gave statements in which they urged the Court to impose the maximum sentence allowed by law against Miller. U.S. Attorney William C. Killian stated, “This sentence sends a strong message to fraudsters like Brian Miller that might dare to undertake sophisticated schemes to defraud citizens out of their retirement funds, college tuition funds, and life savings that their schemes will result in federal prosecution and long prison sentences.”
Agencies involved in this investigation included the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Matthew T. Morris, Assistant U.S. Attorney, represented the United States.