Investment Adviser Sentenced to 78 Months’ Imprisonment For Running Ponzi Scheme
PHILADELPHIA – First Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced today that Carl Frederic Sealey was sentenced to 78 months in prison for running a Ponzi scheme and bilking his clients out of more than $1.6 million. United States District Court Judge Gerald J. Pappert, who presided over the proceedings, further ordered the ex-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Global Standard Industries (GSI) and SEK Industries (SEK) to be taken into custody immediately to begin serving his sentence.
Sealey, 43, of Cinnaminson, New Jersey, claimed that GSI was a multi-national private equity investment firm with more than 500 employees that specialized in investments of at least $50 million, more than $15 billion in managed domestic assets, and another $33 billion offshore. Almost every investor was led to believe that the investments were risk free and that they would receive their money back with 10 percent interest within 90 days. Additionally, Sealey lulled investors by representing to them that their “deal” had been delayed and that they could get their money back quicker if they invested additional money for other “deals” that GSI had underway.
In reality, GSI only had physical offices in Philadelphia and New York City and there were not 500 investment professionals employed by GSI. More importantly, there were never any real estate closings or business takeovers underway by anyone at GSI. When investors wired money to accounts exclusively maintained by Sealey, he stole their money and used the majority of the money received from investors to support an extravagant lifestyle, including a personal driver, hotel accommodations, restaurants, spa services, retail shopping, and other personal expenditures.
“Individuals trust investment advisors with their life savings and their economic well-being,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Williams. “This defendant blatantly betrayed that trust by making false promises to investors with the ultimate goal of stealing their money and living the high life with their hard-earned savings. The sentence imposed in this case, and the order requiring the defendant to begin serving his sentence immediately after the hearing, reflect the seriousness of the charges.”
Sealey pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud in June 2018. In addition to the sentence of 78 months, Sealey was ordered to pay more than $1,508,325 in restitution to the victims of his scheme.
“Carl Sealey invented offices, employees, and business deals that didn’t exist, in order to win investors’ trust,” said Michael T. Harpster, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “When people bought his sales pitch, he promptly sold them out, funding his extravagant lifestyle with their money. The FBI is gratified to help bring to justice the perpetrator of such blatant fraud.”
The investigation was led by agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anita Eve.