United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Announces Participation in National Money Mule Initiative; Obtains Three Civil Injunctions Against Alleged Money Mules Involved in Lottery Scams
PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Christopher Hogg, age 63, of Gladwyne, PA, was sentenced to six years and three months in prison, and two years of supervised release, and was ordered to forfeit over $17 million and pay restitution of over $750,000 by United States District Judge Nitza I. Quinones Alejandro for his participation with two co-conspirators in a loan fraud scheme worth more than $21 million.
In September 2021, the defendant pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, filing a false return, and tax evasion. The bank fraud charges arose from an insurance premium financing scheme that Hogg and others conducted from approximately November 2016 through January 2018. The scheme worked as follows: Hogg and co-conspirator Rennie Rodriguez submitted approximately 35 financing applications to a finance company, purportedly for premium finance loans to purchase insurance, but in reality the loans were not for that purpose. Another co-conspirator inside the finance company, Neal Dunoff, waived the loan verification procedures and approved the loans, in exchange for compensation from the defendant. Rodriguez and Dunoff have pled guilty as a result of their participation in this scheme and are awaiting sentencing. Hogg used the proceeds of this fraudulent scheme as capital for his businesses as well as to support his luxurious lifestyle, including payments for a Mercedes Benz S-Class, country club dues, vacations, as well as towards the purchase of a $1 million mansion on the Main Line.
The tax fraud charges arose from Hogg’s failure to report over $370,000 worth of income on the tax form 1040 that he filed for tax year 2016, and his failure to report over $1.7 million in income for tax year 2017 (for which he never filed a return), resulting in a total tax loss to the government of approximately $750,000 for both years.
“This defendant abused the banking system in an effort to enrich himself and his coconspirators, all while cheating the bank and the United States government,” said U.S. Attorney Williams. “He tried to play games to avoid fulfilling his fiduciary and tax obligations, but the dedicated investigators on this case uncovered his lies. Today’s sentence provides justice to those Mr. Hogg attempted to swindle.”
“Financial fraudsters cost this country billions in losses,” said Special Agent in Charge Jacqueline Maguire. “Today’s sentence is significant enough that it should serve as a warning to other criminals: give careful thought to whether the ill-gotten gains you are receiving are worth going to prison; because that’s exactly where you’re going.”
“This sentence is a positive message to the honest and hardworking Americans who file correct tax returns and pay their fair share,” said IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Yury Kruty. “Mr. Hogg’s decision to shirk his tax liability is a felony. Today, justice has been served and Mr. Hogg is on his way to federal prison.”
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Karen L. Grigsby.
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY’S OFFICE
EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
615 Chestnut Street, Suite 1250
Philadelphia, PA 19106
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