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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Louisiana

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Former Professional Track Athlete And Paralympic Gold Medalist Sentenced To Federal Prison For Fraudulent Scheme

BATON ROUGE, LA – Acting United States Attorney Corey R. Amundson of the Middle District of Louisiana announced that RAPHEW T. REED, JR., age 32, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has been sentenced to serve forty eight (48) months in federal prison as a result of his convictions for false representation of a Social Security number and wire fraud. At yesterday’s sentencing, Judge John W. deGravelles further ordered REED to make restitution to his victims totaling $140,973.75 and pay $200 in special assessments. Additionally, REED will be required to forfeit $125,000 in proceeds from his crimes. Following his release from prison, REED will be required to serve a 3-year term of supervised release.


REED is a resident of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. As REED represented at the sentencing hearing, he is an accomplished track and field athlete, having competed at the collegiate level for the University of Mississippi, in the Paralympic Games as a member of the United States Track & Field Team, and ultimately as a professional track athlete. After his track career ended, REED returned to Baton Rouge and entered the world of finance, holding himself out as a financial advisor and as someone who could assist individuals and businesses in obtaining credit and financing.


Ultimately, REED turned to fraud. As REED has admitted, in May of 2012, he knowingly provided a federally insured credit union with a false Social Security number and false documents that misrepresented his identity, income, and credit score, in an attempt to secure a loan. When that scheme failed, from late 2012 through April 2013, REED executed a scheme to defraud another company, which, on November 27, 2012, wired $125,000 to REED. REED fraudulently diverted the funds to his friends, family members, others to whom he owed money, and to another one of his own bank accounts. In 2013, when the victim repeatedly asked REED to return the funds, as he had promised he would do, REED falsely represented to the victim that he was in the process of returning the company’s funds.


During the sentencing hearing, the Court found that REED’s fraudulent conduct spanned several years. In fact, REED defrauded another victim in June of 2014—a former teacher of REED’s in Baton Rouge who believed, based on REED’s representations, that he would invest her money in a hedge fund. Then, in the spring of 2015, REED defrauded a technology company in Los Angeles, California, by making false representations and causing the company to incur expenses based on the false pretense that REED would purchase the company. In total, REED’s scheme had an intended loss of more than $200,000, not counting the potential loss associated with several fraudulent foreign securities and bonds that REED attempted to deposit at various financial institutions during the same time period described above. These fraudulent foreign bonds had a total face value in the hundreds of millions of dollars.


Acting U.S. Attorney Amundson stated, “Thankfully REED’s string of colorful schemes—all of them fraudulent—has finally come to an end. REED’s conduct justifies every day of the lengthy sentence that the Court handed down in this case. We appreciate the hard work of our law enforcement partners to put a stop to REED’s conduct and bring this serial fraudster to justice, and we will continue to aggressively pursue others who would attempt the same type of criminal conduct.”


FBI Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey Sallet stated, “This case is an excellent example of the dedication and focus exhibited by the FBI, United States Attorney's Office, and law enforcement partners throughout this investigation. This outcome should serve as a deterrent to those who attempt to defraud others, particularly those who attempt to use deceit and sophisticated means to avoid prosecution.”


This matter was investigated by the Baton Rouge office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with valuable assistance from the Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General. The matter was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Alan A. Stevens, who serves as Chief of the office’s Criminal Division.

Financial Fraud
Updated August 25, 2017