Federal Jury Finds Three Defendants Guilty in $300 Million Nationwide Telemarketing Fraud Scheme Targeting the Elderly
United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald today announced the guilty plea of ISAIAH LESLIE GOODMAN, 33, to one count of mail fraud. GOODMAN entered his guilty plea earlier today before Judge Susan Richard Nelson in U.S. District Court. GOODMAN is scheduled to be sentenced on June 29, 2021.
According to his guilty plea and documents filed with the court, GOODMAN was a registered investment advisor and broker who owned Becoming Financial Group, Inc., and Becoming Financial Advisory Services L.L.C. GOODMAN also owned and operated MoneyVerbs, a business that claimed to provide customers with financial guidance through an internet-based app. Through Becoming Financial Group, Inc., and Becoming Financial Advisory Services L.L.C., GOODMAN represented that he would provide his clients with financial planning and investment advice, including purporting to place his clients’ savings and retirement funds into financial accounts that GOODMAN claimed were safe, secure, and profitable.
According to his guilty plea and documents filed with the court, from at least 2017 through November 2020, GOODMAN defrauded at least 23 of his investor clients out of approximately $2,250,123. As part of his scheme to defraud, GOODMAN lied to prospective and existing clients about his use of their money, the security and profitability of the financial accounts he claimed to administer on their behalf, and the status and performance of their funds. During in-person sales pitches or through email messages and phone calls, GOODMAN provided clients with materially false and fraudulent information, including investment proposals and bogus online account information. GOODMAN also misrepresented to clients that their funds would be returned to them upon request, when, in fact, GOODMAN either kept all of the money or provided investors with refunded payments that were late, incomplete, or both, or that were refunds actually funded by other clients’ money.
According to his guilty plea and documents filed with the court, instead of placing his clients’ money into safe and secure investment accounts, GOODMAN deposited client funds into bank accounts he controlled. GOODMAN misappropriated his clients’ funds for his own use and benefit by, among other things, purchasing and remodeling his home in Maple Grove, using funds for the purchase and construction of a $1.69 million home in Plymouth, buying a 2019 Ford Expedition and a 2020 Ford Explorer, funneling approximately $700,000 toward his other business, MoneyVerbs, and paying for personal expenditures, including a hot tub, a cruise, fitness club memberships, jewelry, and credit card payments.
As part of the plea agreement, GOODMAN will forfeit to the United States his right, title, and interest in any property, which constitutes or is derived from proceeds traceable to his mail fraud scheme, including real property in Maple Grove and Plymouth, Minnesota, vehicles, and his interest in his MoneyVerbs business.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI and the Minnesota Commerce Fraud Bureau.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew S. Ebert is prosecuting the case.
ISAIAH LESLIE GOODMAN, 33
Maple Grove, Minn.
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United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600