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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 3, 2020

Maryland Lawyer Facing Federal Indictment in Maryland for Defrauding Financial Institutions and Other Entities to Obtain Control Over More Than $12.5 Million of Somali Sovereign Assets

Greenbelt, Maryland – A federal grand jury returned an indictment yesterday charging Maryland lawyer Jeremy Schulman, age 45, of Bethesda, Maryland, on federal charges for wire fraud, mail fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering conspiracies, and three counts of wire fraud, one count of mail fraud, one count of bank fraud, and four counts of money laundering, in connection with his alleged participation in a scheme to defraud financial institutions of more than $12.5 million that was held on behalf of the Somali government.

The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Kelly R. Jackson of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office.

 The 11-count indictment alleges that from 2009 to 2014, Schulman conspired with others to fraudulently obtain control of financial assets held on behalf of the Somali Government around the world and enrich himself and his co-conspirators by taking a portion of those assets in fees and expenses.  To effectuate this scheme, Schulman and others allegedly created false documents regarding Schulman’s authority to recover assets on behalf of the Somali government.  Schulman presented these allegedly false documents to a federally insured bank and other institutions.  In addition to using forged and fraudulent documents, Schulman also allegedly made material misrepresentations and concealed material information from these banks and institutions regarding his authority to act on behalf of the Somali government.

As a result of this scheme, Schulman, his co-conspirators, and the law firm where Schulman was a shareholder ultimately obtained control of approximately $12.5 million of frozen Somali funds.  Schulman caused his law firm to improperly retain more than $3.3 million of the Somali funds while remitting the rest to the Somali government.  Schulman received hundreds of thousands of dollars of additional compensation from his law firm based on the revenue from the scheme, and allegedly engaged in further fraud and money laundering to cause a portion of the funds retained by his law firm to be wired to accounts for the benefit of his co-conspirators. 

If convicted, Schulman faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud, and bank fraud and a maximum of 30 years in federal prison for each count of wire fraud, mail fraud, and bank fraud.  Schulman also faces a maximum of 10 years in federal prison for the money laundering conspiracy and for each count of money laundering.  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.  Schulman is expected to have an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, on Monday, December 7, 2020, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gina L. Simms.

An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

If you believe you are a victim of this offense, please call (888) 549-3945 or visit https://www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud/victim-witness-program.

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur and Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt commended the FBI and IRS-CI for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney David Salem and First Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner and Trial Attorneys Jason Manning and Amy Markopoulos of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, who are prosecuting the case.

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Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Contact: 
Marcia Murphy (410) 209-4854
Updated December 3, 2020