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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Louisiana

Friday, April 29, 2016

New Orleans Businessman Charged with Defrauding Investors

U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that JOHN F. KELLY III, age 57, of Metairie, was charged today in a one-count Bill of Information with wire fraud.

According to court documents, from 2011 through 2014, KELLY operated a tax sale investment business with investor monies. During this time period, KELLY defrauded his investors by diverting their investment funds for his personal use and benefit. As part of the scheme to defraud, KELLY used investor monies to pay off personal loans and to purchase real estate properties in New Orleans that he titled in separate corporate entities he controlled.

The maximum penalty for wire fraud is twenty years imprisonment and/or a fine of $250,000 or the greater of twice the gross gain to the defendant or twice the gross loss to the victim.  The maximum penalty for failing to pay over taxes is five years imprisonment and/or a fine of $250,000. 

U.S. Attorney Polite reiterated that the Bill of Information is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations Division, in investigating this matter.  Assistant United States Attorneys, Richard R. Pickens, II, Andre J. Lagarde, and Hayden M. Brockett are in charge of the prosecution.

Financial Fraud
Updated April 29, 2016