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Press Release

Jury Convicts Georgia Man For $5.5 Million Investment Fraud

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

Peoria, Ill. – Sentencing is scheduled in June 2014, for a Georgia man, after a jury convicted him of operating a fraud scheme that defrauded various investors of millions of dollars. The jury deliberated for less than one and one-half hours on Feb. 24, 2014, before finding Kenneth W. Lewis, 57, guilty of four counts of wire fraud and 11 counts of money laundering.   

During five days of trial, which began on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 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.

At sentencing, scheduled on June 25, 2014, Lewis faces a statutory maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud and up to 10 years for each count of money laundering. Lewis has remained in law enforcement custody since his arrest in New Jersey in July 2012. 

The charges were investigated by IRS Criminal Investigations and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.  Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Darilynn J. Knauss and Assistant U.S. Attorney Bradley W. Murphy represented the government at trial on behalf of the Central District of Illinois, Peoria Division.

Updated June 22, 2015