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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 9, 2021

Montana Man Sentenced To 18 Months In Prison In Connection With $43 Million Fraud Scheme

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that TODD CAPSER was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken to 18 months in prison in connection with a $43 million fraud scheme.  CAPSER pled guilty before Judge Oetken on July 2, 2019.

According to the Indictment and other publicly filed documents, from January 2016 through April 2019, CAPSER perpetrated a scheme to defraud a financial institution based in Toronto, Canada (“Financial Institution-1”), by inducing it, through false and misleading representations and omissions, to loan approximately $43.3 million to CAPSER for the purchase of two chemical and oil tankers (the “Tankers”).

After obtaining the loan from Financial Institution-1 and purchasing the Tankers, CAPSER attempted to induce at least nine other Financial Institutions to loan between $46 million and $52 million each to refinance the original loan.

CAPSER fraudulently induced Financial Institution-1 to make the $43 million loan, and attempted to induce the other Financial Institutions to make the $46 million to $52 million refinancing loans, through, among other things: (a) fraudulently obtaining documents from a company that provides wealth management services to private clients (“Trust Company‑1”); (b) altering the Trust Company-1 documents, and forging additional Trust Company-1 documents, to make it appear as though his father held an investment portfolio at Trust Company-1 composed of securities worth tens of millions of dollars, which could serve as collateral for the loans; (c) sending the altered and forged Trust Company-1 documents to certain of the Financial Institutions; (d) creating fake email accounts for employees of Trust Company-1, and sending emails from those accounts to certain of the Financial Institutions to make it appear as though his father held an investment portfolio at Trust Company-1 composed of securities worth tens of millions of dollars; and (e) making false and misleading representations and omissions about the financial assets of CAPSER, his father, and their family to certain of the Financial Institutions, including falsely claiming to own a cattle company and ranch.

In addition, in an effort to engender sympathy, deflect questions, and explain suspicious behavior, CAPSER falsely represented to certain of the Financial Institutions that his daughter was terminally ill with cancer.

After being charged and arrested in connection with the foregoing fraud scheme in May 2019, and pleading guilty in July 2019, CAPSER attempted to commit a distinct fraud while awaiting sentencing.

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In addition to yesterday’s prison sentence, CAPSER, 50, of Billings, Montana, was sentenced to three years of supervised release.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI.  He also thanked the FBI’s Billings Resident Agency for its assistance with the investigation.

The prosecution of this case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys David J. Robles and Benjamin Woodside Schrier are in charge of the prosecution

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Contact: 
nicholas.biase@usdoj.gov james.margolin@usdoj.gov (212) 637-2600
Press Release Number: 
21-349
Updated December 9, 2021