Chinese National Arrested in Federal Case Alleging Massive Scheme that Shipped Millions of Packages with Counterfeit Postage
LOS ANGELES – A San Bernardino County man has been sentenced to 120 months in federal prison for defrauding eight women – some of whom he developed romantic relationships with – and nine businesses and then laundering the proceeds of his scheme, the Justice Department announced today.
Ze’Shawn Stanley Campbell, 35, formerly of Irvine but who now resides in Fontana, was sentenced late Monday afternoon by United States District Judge Mark C. Scarsi, who said at the hearing that Campbell’s conduct showed a “shocking level of disrespect for the law” as well as a lack of contrition.
Campbell pleaded guilty in October 2022 to one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering.
From April 2014 to April 2020, Campbell convinced his victims that he was reliable by befriending them and starting romantic relationships with them. To enhance his purported creditworthiness in their eyes, he told them lies, such as falsely saying that he had millions of dollars and operated successful businesses, including McDonald’s franchises, a security company, and a chain of gyms in Texas.
Campbell also boosted his stature with the victims by falsely telling them he was a successful investor in real estate and Bitcoin, as well as claiming he had served as a Navy SEAL in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Once he convinced his victims of his bona fides, Campbell would induce them to provide money and property to him, claiming that he would use the victims’ money and property to support his businesses, fund investments made on the victims’ behalf and pay his purported medical bills. Rather than using the victims’ money as he promised he would, he instead used it to pay personal expenses and to buy luxury items for himself.
For example, in December 2017, one victim wrote Campbell a check for $61,452, which Campbell deposited via interstate wires into a Wells Fargo bank account he controlled. Campbell promised the victim that the money would be used for an investment in Bitcoin on the victim’s behalf. Instead, Campbell spent the money on himself, including by making payments on a BMW and a Mercedes-Benz that he had leased in a different victim’s name.
Campbell caused 17 different victims, including eight individuals and nine companies to suffer significant financial losses.
Judge Scarsi found that the losses caused by Campbell’s criminal conduct exceeded $550,000. He will set a hearing to determine the exact amount of restitution that will be owed to the victims.
“[Campbell] is a con man and a predator,” prosecutors argued in a sentencing memorandum. “He develops romantic relationships with his victims and then, exploiting the intimacy and trust he cultivates, lies to them to get their money…But the harms [Campbell] caused go further than these significant financial losses. The harms include the serious emotional damage…which [Campbell] inflicted on his victims. Most of [Campbell’s] individual victims were women he began dating, encouraging their affection only to exploit it and leave their self-esteem, as well as their finances, in tatters.”
The FBI investigated this matter.
Assistant United States Attorney Ranee A. Katzenstein, Chief of the Major Frauds Section, prosecuted this case.
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