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Press Release

Manhattan Man Pleads Guilty To Defrauding Victims Of Millions Of Dollars Through Offering Fictional Investment Opportunities

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York
Ephraim Ullmann Defrauded Multiple Investors With False Statements About Loans and Letters of Credit

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that EPHRAIM JOSEPH ULLMANN pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud victims by telling them that they could obtain large loans or letters of credit if they provided up-front investments as collateral for the loans. In reality, there were no loans available and the victims were defrauded of more than $3 million that they invested in reliance on ULLMANN’s false statements. ULLMANN pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said:  “Ephraim Ullmann admitted to participating in a scheme to defraud victims of millions of dollars by making false statements about fictional opportunities to obtain loans and letters of credit. As a result of his guilty plea, Ullmann will now face a term of imprisonment. Our Office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute those who defraud investors with false promises and lies.”

According to the Indictment, public court filings, and statements made in court:

From at least in or about November 2014 through at least in or about 2020, ULLMANN participated in a scheme to defraud investors by falsely telling them that they could obtain letters of credit or loans if they provided initial funds as collateral for the loans. ULLMANN told one group of victims who had started a home building company that he had been hired by an American Indian tribe to use tribal bonds as collateral to obtain large loans for companies seeking financing. ULLMANN told these victims to send hundreds of thousands of dollars to a bank account he provided them, which he described as “seed capital” to obtain the tribal bond-backed loan. In reality, ULLMANN had not been hired by the tribe and there was no loan available for the victims. ULLMANN also sent multiple forged bank documents to the victims to deceive them into thinking that the promised financing was being provided.

In addition to the tribal bond scheme, ULLMANN told a separate group of victims who were involved with starting a new oil company that he could obtain a multi-million dollar letter of credit for the company if the victims provided initial funding. In reality, there was no letter of credit available, and the victims were fraudulently induced to wire millions of dollars to bank accounts identified by ULLMANN and his co-conspirators.

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ULLMANN, 58, of New York, New York, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison, and agreed to restitution of $3,032,000.

The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s Money Laundering and Transnational Criminal Enterprises Unit.  Assistant United States Attorney Thane Rehn is in charge of the prosecution. 


Nicholas Biase
Victoria Bosah
(212) 637-2600

Updated May 31, 2022

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 22-179