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Press Release

Operator Of Northeastern Pennsylvania Investment Firm Sentenced To 11 Years For Two Million Dollar Fraud Scheme

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

SCRANTON - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Jason A. Muskey, age 39, of Moosic, Pennsylvania was sentenced on Friday, October 30, 2015, to 11 years in federal prison by United States District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion, for diverting approximately two million dollars from clients’ accounts at a financial services firm he owned and operated over a seven year period from 2007 to 2014. Muskey was immediately taken into custody and remanded to the Lackawanna County Prison as he awaits designation to a federal facility to serve his sentence.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Muskey was charged in February 2015 with mail fraud, money laundering, and aggravated identity theft. As presented in court at the time of Muskey’s guilty plea and the sentencing hearing, the evidence showed that Muskey, through his firm, Muskey Financial Services, offered financial advice and investment services to clients.

After being entrusted with client funds, Muskey 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 falsely represented to clients that the funds were being used to better their investments.  When clients requested a return or withdrawal of their funds, Muskey took funds from accounts of other clients and purchased cashier’s checks to pay the clients who requested withdrawal.  Some of the diverted funds came from individual retirement accounts (IRA’s) of clients.  Muskey also used multiple means of identification of his clients to gain access to their funds to carry out his scheme.

According to the United States Attorney’s Office, there were approximately 26 victims of Muskey’s scheme. Several of the victims spoke in court about how Muskey asked them to trust him and then ruined them financially.  Several elderly victims spoke about how they worked and saved their entire lives with the hope of not having to rely on others for financial assistance, or to have the opportunity to provide for their grandchildren.  All of the victims asked Judge Mannion to impose a severe sentence.

The Government was able to forfeit some of the proceeds of Muskey’s fraud scheme in the amount of approximately $50,000.  Muskey was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $2,664,616.

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

                                  

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Updated November 2, 2015

Topic
Financial Fraud