California Man Sentenced To Prison, Ordered To Pay $1.5 Million For Scheme That Swindled New Jersey Investors
TRENTON, N.J. – A man who perpetrated a million-dollar investment fraud from California that defrauded New Jersey victims was sentenced today to 46 months in prison for crimes related to the scheme, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Robert Schroy, 68, of Placentia, Calif., previously pleaded guilty to a criminal information charging him with one count each of wire fraud and tax evasion. U.S. District Judge Joel A. Pisano, who accepted the plea, also imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.
According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court:
From 2004 through 2009, Schroy solicited people to invest in an alleged “international bank trade.” He admitted that he and fellow conspirators falsely promised prospective investors extraordinary gains – ranging between 10 and 100 percent per week for a minimum period of 25 weeks – plus the return of their principal investment. Based on Schroy’s misrepresentations, numerous investors, including investors in New Jersey, wired investment monies to accounts controlled by Schroy and others. Although the money was wired to the designated accounts, Schroy admitted it was not invested in any bank trade. Instead, he and other conspirators used it for personal expenditures, including automobiles, vacations and meals at restaurants. In total, Schroy admitted they misappropriated at least $1 million in investor money.
In pleading guilty to the tax evasion count, Schroy specifically admitted he failed to file a 2007 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return and failed to report $479,566 of taxable income, upon which an additional tax of $151,781 was owed to the IRS.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Pisano sentenced Schroy to serve three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $1,540,044 in restitution.
U.S. Attorney Fishman praised special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford, IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Shantelle P. Kitchen, and the N.J. Bureau of Securities, under the direction of Bureau Chief Abbe R. Tiger, for their work in the investigation.
The government is represented by Deputy Chief Christopher J. Kelly of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.
This case was brought in coordination with President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. The task force was established to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices and state and local partners, it’s the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed nearly 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,900 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, please visit www.stopfraud.gov.
Defense counsel: Joshua Markowitz Esq., Lawrenceville, N.J