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Justice News

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

Friday, April 26, 2013

Long Island Man Pleads Guilty After Multi-state Scam To Steal Victims’ Retirement Savings

Defendant Falsely Claimed To Be An Experienced Investment Advisor And Used The Retirement Funds To Gamble On Sports

CENTRAL ISLIP, NY – Smithtown, New York, resident Alexander Swanson, 48, waived indictment and pleaded guilty this morning to felony charges that he engaged in a wire fraud scheme to steal retirement savings from individuals in New York, New Jersey, and elsewhere. Through his investment fraud scheme, the defendant stole approximately $3.1 million from his victims. When sentenced, the defendant faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment on each of the three counts to which he pled guilty. Pursuant to his guilty plea, the defendant must also forfeit the proceeds of his fraud.

The charges were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and George C. Venizelos, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office.

According to the criminal charges filed today in the Eastern District of New York, Swanson misrepresented his job, background, and investment experience to his victims, and then provided the victims with false reports touting his investments’ performance. These misrepresentations fraudulently induced the victims to invest with Swanson, who stole and squandered their retirement savings for his own benefit, including gambling his victims’ savings on sporting events.

“Today, Swanson admitted that he constructed a false persona, lying about his job, background, and investment expertise, all for the purpose of bilking unsuspecting individuals out of their hard earned retirement savings. Promising them secure investments, he instead provided fraudulent reports that lured them deeper into his web of lies and deceit. Just as Swanson played fast and loose with the truth, he also played with his victims’ money, gambling much of it away on sporting events. Due to the combined efforts of law enforcement, the real Swanson will now receive the only payout his actions deserve: fraud charges, a guilty plea, and the prospect of a significant jail sentence,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “I would like to thank our partners at the FBI for their hard work on this important investigation.”

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Venizelos stated, “Swanson preyed upon a particularly vulnerable class of victims. Investment fraud always victimizes the trusting investor, but Swanson targeted retirees who parted with portions of their savings. The FBI is determined to protect all investors from unscrupulous schemes.”

The defendant’s guilty plea took place this morning before United States Magistrate Judge Gary Brown, at the federal courthouse in Central Islip. United States District Judge Denis R. Hurley has not yet scheduled the sentencing hearing in this case.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher A. Ott.

This case was brought in coordination with President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency task force to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.

The Defendant:

Age: 48
Smithtown, New York

Updated July 2, 2015