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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Fraudster Sentenced To Three-And-A-Half Years In Prison For Romance Scam

Judge orders defendant to pay over $650,000 in restitution

SAN FRANCISCO – Randall Elijah Shumpert, a/k/a Randall Turner, a/k/a Randy Goodman, a/k/a Randall Slaughter, a/k/a Rico Fitzgerald, was sentenced to 42 months in prison for wire fraud charges in connection with a romance fraud scheme, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett.  The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Vince Chhabria, U.S. District Judge.

Shumpert pleaded guilty to the charges on November 5, 2019.  According to the plea agreement, in 2015, Shumpert, 51, of Long Beach, CA, met an individual online using an alias on a dating website.  Shumpert communicated with the victim who lived in Northern California on the phone, through text messages, and in person.  Shumpert convinced the victim that she was in a romantic relationship with him and told her that he owned an entertainment company.  Eventually, Shumpert solicited money from her, claiming he would use the money to fund projects undertaken by his company and that she would be repaid through the company’s proceeds.  Shumpert admitted in the plea agreement that his representations to the victim were false.  Specifically, he never told his victim his real name, he did not operate an entertainment company, he did not promote any of the musical events that he described, and he used the money he received from the victim to make purchases for his own benefit, and not for any business purposes.

In addition, Shumpert admitted he defrauded several other victims.  The plea agreement describes how Shumpert met another woman online who resides in Southern California.  Shumpert again convinced this victim she was in a romantic relationship with him and that he owned an entertainment company.  This time, Shumpert told his Southern California victim that his first victim was his colleague at the entertainment company.  After convincing his Northern California victim to send funds to the victim in Southern California, Shumpert eventually convinced his Southern California victim to forward to him both the money from the first victim and additional funds of her own.  Shumpert acknowledged that he repeated this fraud scheme on no fewer than six occasions with no fewer than six separate female victims. According to the plea agreement, Shumpert agreed that his scheme caused victims to lose more than $550,000, causing substantial financial hardship to at least one of his victims.

A federal grand jury indicted Shumpert on December 4, 2018, charging him with three counts of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343.  Shumpert pleaded guilty to all three counts.

At the sentencing hearing, Judge Chhabria commented on Shumpert’s conduct describing it as a “campaign” to identify and defraud his victims.  The government’s sentencing memorandum highlighted examples of how Shumpert emotionally manipulated his victims.  For example, he told one of his victims that he bought her an engagement ring.  The government’s memorandum also discussed examples of the real harm Shumpert’s scheme caused, including the fact that one victim lost over $380,000 and another victim lost all the money she had set aside for her young daughter’s education. 

In addition to the prison term, Judge Chhabria ordered Shumpert to pay restitution in the amount of $679,181.74 and ordered Shumpert to serve a 3-year period of supervised release.  Shumpert is in custody and will begin serving his prison term immediately.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sailaja Paidipaty and Patrick O’Brien are prosecuting this case with the assistance of Marina Ponomarchuk and Morgan Byrne.  This prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBI. 

Financial Fraud
Updated February 21, 2020