Jury Finds a Man Guilty Of $2.5 Million Wire Fraud and Tax Evasion
U.S. Attorney R. Trent Shores announced today that a jury found Shawn Christopher Gorrell, 39, of Belgrade, Montana, guilty of three counts of Wire Fraud and three counts of Tax Evasion. The jury determined that Gorrell defrauded residents of Tulsa and Texas by touting investments and then diverting investor funds for his personal use, such as gambling, day-trading and paying personal expenses. Gorrell’s scheme lasted from 2007 until the fall of 2012. Evidence at trial demonstrated that Gorrell obtained over $2,500,000 from investors pursuant to his scheme, and made payments of over $500,000 back to investors to lull them into believing their investments were secure and performing as promoted. In related tax evasion charges, the evidence showed that Gorrell willfully evaded the payment of taxes attributable to the funds he took from investors during 2009, 2011 and 2012. He failed to report or pay taxes on the funds in a total amount of over $500,000.
U.S. Attorney Shores stated, “Through the outstanding cooperative efforts of federal and state investigative agencies, our office was able to secure guilty verdicts in a significant case where investors were financially decimated.”
Chief Judge Gregory K. Frizzell, of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, presided over the trial and will sentence Gorrell on April 23, 2018. Gorrell faces a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000 or twice the pecuniary gain or loss caused by his conduct, and three years supervised release for the wire fraud charges, and a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or twice the pecuniary gain or loss caused by his conduct, and three years supervised release for the tax evasion charges.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Oklahoma Securities Department and the Oklahoma Insurance Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kevin C. Leitch and Joseph F. Wilson.