Sept. 2, 2009
OWNER OF OSA FINANCIAL SERVICES SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS FOR SECURITIES FRAUD
(HOUSTON) - James Gordon Rogers, 49, of Houston, has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for passing fictitious securities, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today.
United States District Judge David Hittner handed down the sentence this morning after hearing from a number of persons victimized by Rogers scheme. The sentence imposed by the court includes the court’s consideration of several factors including the fact that Rogers’s scheme in Houston was virtually identical to a similar fraud scheme Rogers executed in 1993 in Illinois and the number of years Rogers had devoted to gaining the confidence of the Houston victims. The court also noted that the victims’ funds had been saved for various purposes including college and inheritance for grandchildren. In one instance, Rogers approached a victim after the victim’s wife had died, was at his most vulnerable and had just received an inheritance from his wife. The court also noted Rogers’s conduct had a profound negative impact on the victims of the crime both monetarily and psychologically, which will continue for years to come. Rogers has been ordered to pay $472,500 in restitution to the victims and to serve a five-year-term of supervised release.
In December 2008, Rogers was reported missing by his wife and others. Around the same time, a United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) Inspector was given a “suicide” note in which Rogers had outlined the fraud he had perpetrated through his business, OSA Financial Services. Rogers referred to the fraud as a “Ponzi scheme” and the letter identified a number of victims and losses. On Dec. 15, 2008, officers of the New Braunfels Police Department spotted Rogers just outside New Braunfels near railroad tracks, contacted the USPIS and Rogers was arrested. After Rogers’ arrest, the USPIS learned Rogers had approached individuals he met at a Country Club in Houston and lulled them first into friendship and later into investment opportunities over a period of several years. A federal grand jury returned a 14-count indictment in January 2009 charging Rogers for selling fake securities in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 514.
The USPIS investigation revealed that investors were tricked into investing in OSA Financial Services, a purported tax and investment advising business. By Rogers’s own admission, OSA Financial failed to file tax returns or deposit payroll taxes. Moreover, the investigation revealed that the financial statements OSA Financial Services sent to investors were a complete fabrication. When Rogers needed more money, he approached the same investors and other investors he had befriended to purchase fake certificates of deposit (CD). Rogers represented to the investors that he had a source at a bank who could obtain Certificates of Deposit (CD) with high return rates and also made various other misrepresentations and misstatements to investors associated with these purported CDs. These CDS were also a complete fabrication. More than 10 investors lost more than $900,000 as a result of Roger’s scheme.
Rogers, who previously served an 18-month sentence for the 1993 federal conviction in Illinois for a similar scheme, pleaded guilty to all 14 counts of the indictment in April 2009. The 10-year sentence handed down today as to each of the 14 counts of conviction will be served concurrently. Rogers has been on bond until today when he was immediately ordered into federal custody to begin serving his sentence following today’s hearing.
Assistant United States Attorney Ryan D. McConnell prosecuted the case.
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