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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Operator Of Northeastern Pennsylvania Investment Firm Charged With Two Million Dollar Fraud Scheme

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania has filed criminal charges against Jason A. Muskey, age 37, of Moosic, Pennsylvania, the operator of a financial services firm, alleging that Muskey diverted approximately two million dollars from clients’ accounts at the firm over a seven year period from 2007 to 2014.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Muskey is charged with mail fraud, money laundering and identity theft in a Criminal Information filed today in the United States District Court in Scranton.  The charges allege that Muskey, through his firm, Muskey Financial Services, offered financial advice and investment services to clients.  After being entrusted with his clients’ funds, Muskey allegedly forged clients’ signatures to obtain funds from his clients’ investment accounts, deposited funds into his personal accounts and used the money for his own personal benefit.  Muskey allegedly falsely represented to clients that the funds were being used to better their investments.  When clients requested return or withdrawal of their funds, Muskey allegedly took funds from accounts of other clients and purchased cashier checks to pay the clients who requested withdrawal.  Some of the diverted funds came from individual retirement accounts (IRA’s) of clients.  Muskey also allegedly used identification information of other persons to gain access to funds to carry out his scheme.

According to the United States Attorney’s Office, there were approximately 26 victims of Muskey’s scheme.  The Criminal Information alleges that the government is seeking forfeiture of property obtained with the proceeds of the fraud scheme, including:

- property in Nuangola, Pennsylvania;
- proceeds from property in Moosic, Pennsylvania;
- timeshare properties in Mountain Laurel Resort and Spa, White Haven, Pennsylvania and the Grand   Cayman Island Resort;
- the contents of bank accounts at PNC Bank, Peoples Security Bank and a Union Central 401(k) plan;
- two boats, three trailers and a pickup truck.

The Government also filed a plea agreement with the defendant which is subject to the approval of the court.  If convicted, Muskey faces a maximum of 22 years in prison and $1,000,000 in fines.

The investigation is being conducted by the United States Secret Service with the assistance of the United States Postal Inspection Service.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle L. Olshefski.

Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

(Information)

Updated April 20, 2015