Richmond Woman Charged with Defrauding Tongan Community in $13 Million Stockton-Based International Ponzi Scheme
FRESNO, Calif. — Gary John Koval, 76, formerly of Fresno, pleaded guilty today to one count of wire fraud in connection with an investment fraud scheme, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced. According to court documents, from 2012 to approximately Nov. 2014, Koval executed an investment fraud scheme, where he falsely represented himself to potential investors as an experienced and successful businessperson and investor with significant relationships and contacts in the banking and investment community. He convinced several investors to give him money by falsely claiming that he was a facilitator for opportunities where one could purchase foreign bank notes or lines of credit and have them resold at a significant profit. Koval, in fact, used the money to fund his own business ventures unrelated to foreign investments or spent the money on his personal expenses. Koval also gave inconsistent, conflicting explanations and excuses concerning the lack of return on their investment and the inability to return the investment principal to investors that requested such a return. Some of the explanations and excuses provided by Koval induced investors to provide additional money. Koval’s conduct caused a loss to investors of over $550,000. This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Henry Z. Carbajal III is prosecuting the case. Koval is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd on Jan. 13. Koval faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.