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Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

Friday, February 7, 2014

Disbarred Somerset Attorney Charged With Fraud

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BOSTON – A disbarred Somerset attorney was arrested this morning on fraud charges arising out of his promotion of a variety of investment opportunities.

John Silvia, 64, was charged in a complaint with mail and wire fraud. Silva, purportedly the “Managing Member” of Richardson Consulting, LLC, was charged for his promotion of various investments, including investments in real estate and a “performance bond.” According to the complaint, Silvia represented that the investments were “risk-free” and promised to return the principal, along with substantial interest, within approximately 90 days. Silvia did not invest the funds and did not make the promised payments. Silvia, who was licensed to practice law in Massachusetts in 1975, has been disbarred since 2003.

The statutory maximum penalties for the mail and wire fraud charges are 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gain to the defendant or loss to the victim.

The Massachusetts Securities Division, which filed an administrative complaint today charging Silvia with violation of Massachusetts securities laws, referred this case to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and cooperated with the criminal investigation.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah E. Walters of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.

The details contained in the complaint are allegations. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case was brought in coordination with President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement 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.

Updated January 8, 2018