Reynoldsburg Man Pleads Guilty to Defrauding 44 Clients out of More Than $1.4 Million
Defendant Pretended to be Former Navy SEAL, International Businessman
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Edward I. Campbell, 41, of Reynoldsburg, Ohio, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court today to charges related to a $1.4 million investment fraud scheme that defrauded at least 44 individuals. Specifically, he pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering and one count of wire fraud.
Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Ryan L. Korner, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation, and Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division, announced the plea entered into today before U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson.
According to court documents, between July 2011 and June 2013 Campbell operated an investment business known as Rosewood Consulting LLC in Baltimore, Ohio. Campbell told victims their contributions would be invested through Rosewood Consulting into two types of investment programs: historical bonds issued by China and the exchange of Bougainville Kina – currency from the autonomous region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea – into U.S. dollars.
Campbell represented that he had access to a trading platform in which he could monetize gold-backed bonds issued by China in 1913 for a very high return. Campbell offered to sell the historical bonds to investors for $10,000 to $15,000 each for a promised return on investment of anywhere from $50,000 to upwards of possibly $10 million per bond within 10 to 60 days.
Campbell also offered to exchange the Bougainville Kina, which he allegedly possessed, into U.S. dollars if the investors hired him for a $100,000 fee. The investors were supposed to receive a return of $1.5 million or more within 10 to 120 days.
Campbell told investors that their investments were refundable if the returns were not paid within the provided timeframes. In addition, he told investors that he had prior success with these investment programs, was a former Navy SEAL, once worked in an investment house, had traveled internationally closing deals and he had nearly 600 investors.
The investigation revealed that none of the investors received the returns on their investments that Campbell had promised. Only a few of the 44 investors have been refunded the money they paid for his services and those refunds were paid for with other investors’ funds.
Campbell usually depleted the funds he received from investors shortly after receiving them, by using the funds for personal expenses, including the purchase of two automobiles and expenses at hotels and restaurants.
As part of his plea agreement, Campbell has agreed to pay $1,408,854 in restitution.
Money laundering in this case is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and wire fraud is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
“A person who creates a web of financial lies will soon be caught up in it. Edward Campbell offered higher rates of return than normal to his clients and unfortunately these were false promises,” said Ryan L. Korner, Special Agent in Charge, IRS, Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office.
U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by the IRS and FBI, as well as Assistant United States Attorney Jessica H. Kim, who is representing the United States in this case.
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