Mont Vernon Attorney Convicted of Engaging in Multimillion Dollar Fraud Scheme
CONCORD – Acting United States Attorney John J. Farley announced that Joseph A. Foistner, 67, of Mont Vernon, was found guilty on Thursday of four counts of bank fraud, as well as charges of wire fraud, money laundering, and making misrepresentations during bankruptcy proceedings. The verdict was returned by Senior U.S. District Judge Paul Barbadoro on Thursday, December 23, 2021, following a two-week bench trial.
According to exhibits and witness testimony during the trial, Foistner used fraudulent means to apply for over $8 million in loans from five different financial institutions, laundered money, and made material misrepresentations during bankruptcy proceedings between 2015 and 2018. Foistner, at the time of the scheme, was a licensed attorney in Massachusetts. He did not have any paying clients and earned no income through his law firm. In order to obtain millions of dollars in loans from multiple financial institutions, Foistner provided banks with misleading documents that suggested that he was operating a lucrative law firm. For example, he claimed that he was a “seasoned attorney” with international clients and that his firm earned over a million dollars in annual income. In fact, all the firm’s purported income was based upon bogus, unpaid invoices the firm submitted to entities that the defendant controlled, including bankrupt entities. The defendant also made other false statements to obtain bank loans, including lying about whether he was involved as a party to any lawsuits and denying that he had an interest in other companies. He also falsely represented that he had a salary by mischaracterizing loan proceeds as a salary. In one of the bank fraud schemes, the defendant submitted false information to obtain a loan by claiming falsely that his wife was earning over $200,000 per year as a paralegal. Each of the loans made to Foistner were backed by either the Department of the Veterans Affairs or the Small Business Administration.
The evidence further showed that Foistner committed several crimes during Chapter 7 bankruptcy court proceedings in 2017 and 2018. He made false representations by falsely denying that he held or controlled property owned by others when he actually controlled funds that were held in the name of a business. He also made false statements under oath by lying about what happened to the proceeds of one of the fraudulent loans and lying about not knowing the location of a piece of real estate that had been purchased in part with funds he borrowed and had subsequently funneled into bank accounts not in his name.
Foistner is scheduled to be sentenced on April 4, 2022.
“While no one is entitled to commit fraud, this defendant’s crimes were particularly egregious because they were committed by an attorney,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Farley. “The evidence in this case demonstrated that Foistner engaged in a shocking pattern of fraudulent and deceitful conduct to obtain millions of dollars from financial institutions and that he told a host of lies in his efforts to further his scheme and cover his tracks during bankruptcy proceedings. With this guilty verdict, Foistner finally is being held accountable for his lengthy pattern of lying and manipulation. I am grateful to all of the federal agents and prosecutors who worked hard to investigate and prosecute this significant fraud case.”
“Joseph Foistner took advantage of programs that were designed to help veterans achieve home ownership, and small businesses expand and develop. In fraudulently collecting millions of dollars, his lies and deceit have not only hurt himself, but every citizen whose tax dollars support these federally funded programs,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division. “The FBI is determined to work with our partners to hold anyone who commits such fraud accountable.”
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Office of Inspector General of the Small Business Administration. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Charles L. Rombeau, Seth R. Aframe and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander S. Chen. Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Kinsella, Assistant U.S. Attorneys John S. Davis and Kasey Weiland previously worked on this matter.