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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Illinois

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Twenty Year Prison Sentence For Moskop Affirmed

Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that on January 8, 2013, the sentence of former Belleville resident Edward Lynn Moskop, 64, was affirmed by a panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Moskop had plead guilty to mail fraud and money laundering after it was discovered that he had run a Ponzi scheme for decades, during which he stole more than $1.4 million dollars (net) from twenty-six victims. The Seventh Circuit found that: “. . . Moskop was running a Ponzi scheme and converted more than $2.4 million from clients who believed he was investing their money in securities. Moskop advertised fictitious investment products and deceived his clients about the status of their money by creating false investment receipts and tax statements. He also continued to sell insurance policies, but often pocketed his clients’ premium payments instead of sending them to the carriers. When Moskop could not dissuade clients who wanted to liquidate their investment accounts, he made “lulling” payments drawn from funds provided by other clients; those outgoing payments totaled almost $1 million, leaving Moskop with roughly $1.4 million.”

The case was argued, personally, by United States Attorney Wigginton at sentencing in the District Court and before the Seventh Circuit, which, in its opinion, noted, “. . . the government’s arguments in aggravation, rather than parroting upward adjustments in the guidelines, focused on three grounds that the Sentencing Commission has encouraged district courts to consider when evaluating the adequacy of a within range prison term.”

“I will continue to pursue every avenue in my ongoing fight to get as much restitution for these victims as is possible,” noted United States Attorney Wigginton. “Through his thievery, Mr. Moskop imposed a financial death penalty on his victims. By law, I will try to get every penny that I can back to these innocent victims.”

The investigation of the scheme was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the State of Illinois Securities Department and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Division of Enforcement. The criminal case was prosecuted by United States Attorney Wigginton and Assistant United States Attorneys Katherine L. Lewis and Michael J. Quinley.

People who believe they have been a victim of securities fraud should contact the Illinois Securities Department at 1-800-628-7937. If you suspect or know of an individual or company that is not complying with the tax laws, you may report this activity by contacting the local Internal Revenue Service/Criminal Investigation office at (618) 622-2160, or by mailing information to: Internal Revenue Service, Fresno, CA 93888.

Updated February 19, 2015