United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Hermosa, South Dakota, man convicted of three counts of Wire Fraud was sentenced by Jeffrey L. Viken, U.S. District Judge.
David Astin, age 38, was sentenced on August 12, 2020, to 3 years in federal prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $300 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. In addition, he was ordered to pay $433,877.06 in restitution.
Astin’s Wire Fraud conviction stemmed from actions he took in 2012, when he entered into an agreement whereby he managed a local investor’s foreign exchange currency accounts in exchange for compensation. Astin told the investor he had consistently received returns of eight percent per month in his own account, and promised one to three percent returns monthly in the investor’s accounts. The investor told Astin he was not willing to suffer significant losses in his foreign exchange accounts and Astin believed he would not be compensated if the investor suffered significant losses.
Beginning in August 2012 and continuing through August 2013, however, Astin created and provided fraudulent statements and spreadsheets to the investor showing the investor was making significant earnings in his foreign exchange accounts, when in fact Astin was losing hundreds of thousands of dollars of the investor’s money. As a result of the fraudulent statements and spreadsheets, the investor continued to invest more money and compensate Astin for his work. In total, Astin lost $433,877.06 of the investor’s money, while being compensated more than $75,000.00.
The investigation was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Patterson prosecuted the case.
Astin was immediately remanded to the custody of the US Marshals Service.