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Press Release

Texas Man Sentenced to Prison for $375,000 Investment Scheme

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

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Leonard Theodore Kern, 68, of Plano, Texas, was sentenced today to 10 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for obstruction of justice involving an investment scheme that cost a West Virginia woman $375,000. Kern must also pay $130,000 in restitution.

According to court documents and statements made in court, between May 17, 2012, and July 9, 2012, Kern convinced the victim to invest a total of $375,000 in a “Private Placement Platform” with two other individuals. Kern promised a low-risk financial transaction for an exclusive group of investors and an abnormally high rate of return over a period of just two months.

Kern admitted that he knew the victim’s funds were depleted by the middle of 2013, and she would receive no return on her investment. A federal investigation resulted, and grand jury subpoenas were served upon a company owned and controlled by Kern seeking documentation and records related to the investment transactions. Kern admitted that he intentionally obstructed the grand jury investigation by concealing hundreds of documents responsive to the grand jury subpoenas.

Kern further admitted that he personally benefited in the amount of approximately $130,000 from the unauthorized depletion of the victim’s money. Kern bought an expensive personal vehicle, made routine personal debit transactions, and spent the victim’s funds on home mortgage payments.

United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

United States District Judge Frank W. Volk imposed the sentence. Assistant United States Attorney Andrew J. Tessman prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:20-cr-183.




Updated October 28, 2022