Virginia Man Pleads Guilty to Fraud Scheme and Possessing Fraudulent Austrian Passport
WASHINGTON – Tyrone Grandberry, 59, of Woodbridge, Virginia, pled guilty yesterday to federal charges of wire fraud, stemming from a scheme to defraud individuals that trusted the defendant to invest money on their behalf, and possessing a fraudulent immigration document, stemming from obtaining and possessing a fraudulent Austrian passport in another name.
U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu for the District of Columbia, Charles A. Dayoub, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Division, FBI Washington Field Office, and Todd J. Brown, Director of the Diplomatic Security Service made the announcement today.
Grandberry pled guilty before the Honorable Paul L. Friedman in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to one count of wire fraud, under 18 U.S.C. § 1343, and to one count of possessing a fraudulent immigration document, under 18 U.S.C. § 1546(a). The charges carry statutory maximums of twenty years and ten years in prison. Grandberry also agreed to the forfeiture of $2,123,033.57 that was seized pursuant to a warrant. Sentencing is scheduled for October 30, 2019.
According to the government’s evidence, Grandberry engaged in conduct that constituted an investment fraud scheme. Grandberry along with others solicited investments totaling approximately $4,000,000, in which they benefited from the scheme by diverting money for their personal use. In some cases, Grandberry “repaid” or “refunded” prior victims with money that he obtained from new investors.
In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Liu, Acting Special Agent in Charge Dayoub, and Director Brown commended the work of those who investigated the case at the FBI’s Washington Field Office. Assistance was provided by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Swanton, Paralegal Specialists Jessica McCormick and Chela Okonji, and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Veronica Jennings of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. They also praised Assistant U.S. Attorney Demian Ahn of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia who prosecuted the case.