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Press Release

Georgia Man Sentenced to More Than 22 Years In Prison For Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of Illinois

Peoria, Ill. –Kenneth W. Lewis, 57, of Augusta, Georgia, and Cranford, New Jersey, was sentenced today for wire fraud and money laundering charges, as announced by U.S. Attorney Jim Lewis, Central District of Illinois. U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid ordered Lewis to serve a total of 271 months (22 years, 7 months) in federal prison. In addition, Lewis was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $5,565,406 to victims of the offenses and ordered to forfeit that same amount. Approximately $8,000 in assets seized at the time of his arrest will be applied to that amount.

On February 24, 2014, Lewis was convicted by a jury of four counts of wire fraud and 11 counts of money laundering. During five days of trial in February, the government presented evidence that established that beginning in the late 1990s, Lewis offered investors the ability to generate income through highly secretive overseas financial transactions. Evidence further established that Lewis obtained more than $5.5 million from others to cover his living expenses while he was purportedly working on completing the details of non-existent transactions.  Further, Lewis told investors that he had been living in Zurich, Switzerland for seven years working on the transaction, when, in fact, he was living in a hotel in New Jersey, where he was arrested in July 2012.

Lewis has remained in federal custody since his arrest.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Darilynn J. Knauss and Bradley W. Murphy. The charges were investigated by IRS, Criminal Division and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Updated June 23, 2015