Former Tulsan Sentenced For $2,000,000 Wire Fraud Scheme and $500,000 Tax Evasion Case
Chief District Judge Gregory K. Frizzell sentenced Shawn Christopher Gorrell, 39, formerly of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and now of Belgrade, Montana, to 64 months in prison on each of the 3 counts of wire fraud a jury found Gorrell committed and 60 months in prison on the 3 tax evasion counts. All prison sentences are to run concurrently with one another. The court also ordered Gorrell to pay $2,006,908 in restitution to victims of his wire fraud scheme and a special monetary assessment totaling $600. After release from prison, Gorrell must serve 3 years under the supervision of the United States Probation Office. As a condition of his supervised release, the court ordered Gorrell pay $509,256 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service for the taxes he owes. The court has also entered a criminal money forfeiture judgment against Gorrell for $2,006,908.
After a one-week trial in January 2018, the jury determined that, between 2007 and 2012, Gorrell fraudulently induced victims to entrust him with over $2 million for investing on their behalf in various ventures that Gorrell touted. In fact, Gorrell used the funds to pay personal expenses, to gamble and to day-trade in his personal trading account. In addition to providing the investors with reassuring statements of venture performance, Gorrell used their funds to make Ponzi-type payments back to them, creating the illusion that the ventures were operating according to his representations. Except for those funds that he paid to investors as purported “returns,” Gorrell spent all of the victims’ invested moneys.
In addition, the jury determined that Gorrell evaded the payment of taxes on the funds that he fraudulently obtained from investors. The funds should have been reported for the tax years 2009, 2011 and 2012, but Gorrell willfully avoided doing so and, at sentencing, the court ordered him to pay the taxes owed.
“Fraudulent investment schemes often do serious damage, and the one perpetrated by Shawn Gorrell was especially catastrophic to his victims,” United States Attorney R. Trent Shores stated. “Gorrell, through his fraudulent activity, wiped out victims’ retirement funds and devastated the lives of their families. In addition, Gorrell failed to comply with the duty of all law-abiding citizens – the accurate reporting of income and payment of taxes. He took a free ride with investor funds, and on the backs of those who pay their taxes. I appreciate the sentence imposed today by Chief Judge Frizzell, which emphasizes the serious nature of Shawn Gorrell’s crimes.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, Oklahoma Department of Securities and Oklahoma Department of Insurance investigated the matter. Assistant United States Attorneys Kevin C. Leitch, Joseph F. Wilson, and Catherine Depew prosecuted the case.