Maple Grove Investment Advisor Sentenced To 7 Years In Prison For Defrauding Clients Out Of More Than $2.3 Million
ST. PAUL, Minn. – A Maple Grove man was sentenced today to 84 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for engaging in a $2.3 million mail fraud scheme.
According to court documents, from at least 2017 through November 2020, Isaiah Leslie Goodman, 34, defrauded at least 23 of his investor clients out of approximately $2,335,797.19. 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 court documents, 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 court documents, 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 his sentence, Goodman will forfeit his equity in real estate, a vehicle, and other items of personal property.
Acting U.S. Attorney W. Anders Folk for the District of Minnesota made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson sentenced the defendant.
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 prosecuted the case.