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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Goodwin Charges Mason County Man With Swindling Elderly Couple

Defendant defrauded couple out of $210,000 in bogus investment scheme, charge says

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin today charged Mark Anthony, 40, of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, with defrauding a senior-citizen couple in Mason County.

Between May 2004 and January 2013, Anthony solicited approximately $210,000 from his victims, according to today's charge. Anthony falsely represented to the victims that their money would be invested in annuities and money market accounts offered by legitimate financial-services companies and that the investments would yield substantial returns. In reality, Anthony simply spent the victims' money on his own personal expenses and purchases. Anthony's fraud scheme continued after the husband in the victim couple passed away in 2007, leaving the wife widowed.

As part of the scheme, Goodwin says, Anthony used the United States Postal Service to send the victims checks that were purportedly income from investments he made for them, along with IRS forms that pretended to reflect their investment income. The checks were actually from Anthony’s personal funds and were intended to trick the victims into believing that Anthony had placed their money in legitimate investment accounts. The IRS forms were also fraudulent.

“Sadly, elderly West Virginians too often become the targets of financial fraud,” said U.S. Attorney Goodwin. “Preventing that fraud and prosecuting those who perpetrate it have always been top priorities for me, and this case builds on that commitment.”

Today’s charge was filed in a court document known as an “information.”

The investigation is being conducted by the West Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Counsel to the United States Attorney Steven Ruby and Assistant United States Attorney Gabriele Wohl are handling the prosecution.

Click here to view a copy of the information.

Note: An information is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated January 7, 2015