Fraudster Found Guilty of Investment Fraud Scheme While Awaiting Sentencing on a Prior Securities Fraud Conviction
DALLAS — Joshua Wayne Bevill, 33, of Dallas, was found guilty today in a bench trial, before U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle, on stipulated facts concerning crimes he committed while awaiting sentencing for a prior securities fraud conviction. Specifically, Bevill was adjudged guilty on one count of mail fraud, two counts of securities fraud and one count of wire fraud, and committing each offense while on release. Today’s announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
Background: Between 2005 and 2008, Bevill, along with various associates, raised several million dollars from investors by selling them interests in supposed oil and gas development projects. However, Bevill was simply stealing the investors’ money rather than using it to earn profits in the oil and gas business. Bevill pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud in January 2011, admitting that he defrauded numerous investors of more than $750,000. He was released pending sentencing and faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years for this offense.
While on this release and pending sentencing in that case, Bevill perpetrated a similar scheme from August 2010 until February 2011 under the name of Progressive Investment Partners. Bevill contacted potential investors and sold them investments in a supposed oil and gas business. As part of his scheme, Bevill used fictitious references that were set up to provide “glowing” reviews and exemplify the merits of investing with Progressive Investment Partners. Bevill, however, simply stole investors’ money and spent it to pay for his lavish lifestyle.
Bevill faces a maximum statutory penalty of 30 years in federal prison for each of the four counts of conviction in this case and fines totaling $10,500,000.00. In addition, he will be required to forfeit $162,000. No sentencing date has been set in either of the cases.
These cases were prosecuted in connection with the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. The task force was established to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. Attorney’s offices and state and local partners, it’s the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed nearly 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants, including more than 2,900 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, please visit www.stopfraud.gov.
The FBI investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys J. Nicholas Bunch and Joseph Revesz are in charge of the prosecution.
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