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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Man Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Investors in Carbon Credit Scheme

RICHMOND, Va. – A Georgia man pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit wire fraud as part of a $1.7 million investment scheme.

According to court documents, Mark H. Loewen, 58, of Atlanta, was the President of World Wide Carbon, LLC (WWC), a business based in Atlanta that purported to sell investments related to carbon offset credits for profit. Loewen and his co-conspirators misled investors regarding WWC’s use of investor funds, return on investment, and risks of the carbon offset credit investment. In total, seven victims, including some in the Eastern District of Virginia and some who were elderly, invested $1,749,990 in WWC investments.

Loewen is scheduled to be sentenced on April 6, 2021. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Combatting elder abuse and financial fraud targeted at seniors is a key priority of the Department of Justice. Elder abuse is an intentional or negligent act by any person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to an older adult. It is a term used to describe five subtypes of elder abuse: physical abuse, financial fraud, scams and exploitation, caregiver neglect and abandonment, psychological abuse, and sexual abuse. Elder abuse is a serious crime against some of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens, affecting at least 10 percent of older Americans every year. Together with our federal, state, local and tribal partners, the Department of Justice is steadfastly committed to combatting all forms of elder abuse and financial exploitation through enforcement actions, training and resources, research, victim services, and public awareness. This holistic and robust response demonstrates the Department’s unwavering dedication to fighting for justice for older Americans.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; David W. Archey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office; and Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Washington, D.C. Field Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney, Jr. accepted the plea.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica D. Aber is prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:20-cr-30.

Topic(s): 
Elder Justice
Financial Fraud
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Public Affairs joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated December 1, 2020