Maryland Lawyer Charged with Defrauding Financial Institutions and Other Entities to Obtain Control over $12.5 Million of Somali Sovereign Assets
A Maryland lawyer was charged in an 11-count indictment for his alleged role in a scheme to fraudulently obtain control of more than $12.5 million that was held by financial institutions on behalf of the Somali government, to improperly take part of those funds for fees and expenses, and to launder a portion of those funds to accounts for the benefit of his co-conspirators.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur of the District of Maryland, Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone of the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office, and Special Agent in Charge Kelly Jackson of the IRS-Criminal Investigation’s Washington D.C. Field Office made the announcement.
Jeremy Schulman, 47, of Bethesda, Maryland, was charged in an indictment filed in the District of Maryland with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and bank fraud; three counts of wire fraud; one count of mail fraud; one count of bank fraud; one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering; and four counts of money laundering.
The indictment alleges that from 2009 to 2014, Schulman conspired with others to fraudulently obtain control of financial assets held on behalf of the Somali government around the world and enrich himself and his co-conspirators by taking a portion of those assets in fees and expenses.
To effectuate this scheme, Schulman and others allegedly created false documents regarding Schulman’s authority to recover assets on behalf of the Somali government. Schulman presented these allegedly false documents to a federally insured bank and other institutions. In addition to using forged and fraudulent documents, Schulman also allegedly made material misrepresentations and concealed material information from these banks and institutions regarding his authority to act on behalf of the Somali government.
As a result of this scheme, Schulman, his co-conspirators, and the law firm where Schulman was a shareholder ultimately obtained control of approximately $12.5 million of frozen Somali funds. Schulman caused his law firm to improperly retain more than $3.3 million of the Somali funds while remitting the rest to the Somali government. Schulman received hundreds of thousands of dollars of additional compensation from his law firm based on the revenue from the scheme, and allegedly engaged in further fraud and money laundering to cause a portion of the funds retained by his law firm to be wired to accounts for the benefit of his co-conspirators.
An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
If you believe you are a victim of this offense, please visit https://www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud/victim-witness-program or call (888) 549-3945.
This case was investigated by the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office and IRS-Criminal Investigation’s Washington D.C. Field Office. Trial Attorneys Jason Manning and Amy Markopoulos of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, and First Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Lenzner and Senior Litigation Counsel David Salem of the the District of Maryland are prosecuting the case. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs also provided assistance in this matter.
The Criminal Division’s Fraud Section is responsible for investigating and prosecuting all FCPA matters. Additional information about the Justice Department’s FCPA enforcement efforts can be found at www.justice.gov/criminal/fraud/fcpa.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.