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Press Release

Jacksonville Attorney And Her Former Client Sentenced For Investment Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Jacksonville, Florida – U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard sentenced Amy Elizabeth Newby (42, Jacksonville) to 15 months in federal prison for mail fraud.  As part of her sentence, the court also entered a money judgment in the amount of $85,050, the proceeds of the charged criminal conduct. Newby’s co-conspirator and former client, Donald Mitchell (37, Orlando), was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit mail fraud, as well as a separate charge of wire fraud. As part of Mitchell’s sentence, the court also entered a money judgment in the amount of $96,050, representing the proceeds of the charged criminal conduct.   Mitchell pleaded guilty on September 11, 2013. Newby entered her guilty plea on November 26, 2013. The sentencing hearing was on June 16, 2014.

According to court documents, between June 2010 and March 2011, Newby and Mitchell devised a scheme to defraud whereby victims were lured into believing that Mitchell was a legitimate investor, when in reality, he was not. Mitchell told investors that he invested in either hedge funds or leveraged buyouts. When convincing individuals to invest money with him, Mitchell often used an alias and made various misrepresentations concerning his career, including that he worked for Merrill Lynch, the Blackstone Group, or as an economics professor at the University of Florida. During the course of the scheme, with the help of Newby, Mitchell also fraudulently obtained luxury cars to substantiate his claim that he was a wealthy investor.

According to court documents, in one instance, Newby made multiple misrepresentations to a victim-investor and convinced the victim that Mitchell was out of the country and had lost an investment check that the victim had previously mailed to Mitchell. In reality, Mitchell was in jail on state charges and unable to gain access to the check. After speaking to Newby, the victim agreed to mail a new check. The new check was made payable to Mitchell and sent to Newby’s law office.

The testimony and evidence presented during the sentencing hearing showed that Newby’s Florida Bar license is currently suspended for an unrelated forgery, which occurred prior to the investment scheme. As to Mitchell, the evidence presented revealed that while detained awaiting his sentencing, Mitchell continued to attempt to commit fraud.

This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Diidri W. Robinson.

Updated January 26, 2015