News and Press Releases

Danville Man Charged In $17 Million Fraud Scheme

October 31, 2012

SAN JOSE, Calif. – A federal grand jury in San Jose indicted Leo Joshua Kennedy, of Danville, Calif., today with ten counts of wire fraud, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced.

According to the indictment, Kennedy, 60, is alleged to have stolen $17 million from various beneficiary trust accounts at Backhouse Fiduciary Services. While working as an accountant for Backhouse Fiduciary Services, a San Jose based administrator of beneficiary trust accounts, the defendant allegedly transferred funds from various trust accounts without the account-holders’ permission. Kennedy allegedly used those funds to pay for his personal investments and living expenses.

Kennedy is scheduled to make his initial appearance in federal court in San Jose on Nov. 20, 2012, before Magistrate Judge Grewal.

The maximum statutory penalty for each count of wire fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343 is 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or gross loss from the offense, plus restitution. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Jeff Schenk is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Kamille Singh. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Please note, an indictment contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, Kennedy must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Today’s announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ 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 more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit



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