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Press Release

Local man who attempted to orchestrate $51 million fraud scheme sent to prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

HOUSTON – A 47-year-old Houstonian is now behind bars for his conviction of wire fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

John Wesley Sarpy pleaded guilty Dec. 17, 2018.

Today, U.S. District Judge Vanessa D. Gilmore ordered him to serve a 135-month sentence to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine. At the hearing, the court noted that not only did he attempt to commit fraud while out on bond, he also obstructed justice when he cut off his GPS ankle monitor prior to sentencing. In handing down the sentence, Judge Gilmore noted his criminal history of committing fraud and the sophisticated nature of this offense.

“Sarpy, a recidivist fraudster, repeatedly tried to obtain multi-million dollar loans using falsified documents,” said Special Agent in Charge Perrye K. Turner of the FBI. “While the fruit of his perseverance didn't result in obtaining any money, our case agents feared that at some point he would successfully get funded with a multi-million dollar payday, all based on fraud. Our agents were determined to make sure that didn't happen, and they stopped Sarpy in his tracks.”

Sarpy knowingly submitted fraudulent documents in an attempt to obtain multimillion-dollar loans from various lending institutions. During the scheme, Sarpy incorporated several different companies to perpetuate his fraud including  Sarpy Investment Corporation and Legacy International Production & Exploration Corporation. Some of the false documents he submitted included financial audit opinions for Sarpy Investment Corporation which purported to be from the auditing firms KPMG, BDO and PricewaterhouseCoopers. However, the investigation revealed Sarpy was not a client of any of these companies and all the financials he submitted in support of all the loans were forged and fictitious.

On four separate occasions in 2018, Sarpy submitted such false audit reports with forged signatures and false financials to four different institutions in failed attempts to secure approximately $51 million in loans.

Sarpy was previously released on bond but violated his conditions of release when he cut off his GPS monitor and fled. Law enforcement later found him in the Northern District of Texas and took him into custody where he remains pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Elmilady prosecuted the case.   

Updated November 30, 2020

Financial Fraud