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Press Release

Federal Jury Convicts Former Financial Representative Of Wire And Tax Fraud For A Half-Million Dollar Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A federal jury in Charlotte has convicted Sampson Pearson, 44, of Charlotte, of wire and tax fraud for defrauding his clients of more than half a million dollars, announced William T. Stetzer, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn Jr. presided over the three-day trial which ended late yesterday.

Tommy D. Coke, Inspector in Charge of the Atlanta Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), which oversees Charlotte, and Mona Passmore, and Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, Charlotte Field Office (IRS-CI), join Acting U.S. Attorney Stetzer in making today’s announcement.

According to filed court documents, trial evidence, and witness testimony, from 2004 to 2016, Pearson was a representative for a financial services firm identified in court documents as Company A. In that capacity, Pearson offered and sold life insurance products and annuities as an independent contractor for Company A in Charlotte. As trial evidence established, Pearson used his position to defraud at least 10 victims and Company A of more than $570,000 through a fraudulent loan and disbursement scheme. Pearson executed the scheme by submitting falsified loan applications and requests for disbursements in the victims’ names without their knowledge and approval. Company A authorized the loans and disbursements based on the fraudulent documents submitted by Pearson. Pearson also directed Company A to deposit the fraudulently-obtained funds into an account controlled by the defendant. Pearson used the funds to pay for personal expenses and to fund his lifestyle. Evidence at trial showed that more than half of all the money the defendant had deposited into his bank account between 2011 and 2016 was money he stole from his victims. Evidence also established that Pearson made Ponzi-type payments to some of his victims to further perpetuate his fraud.

The government’s evidence further established that Pearson committed tax fraud for tax years 2013 through 2016, by filing fraudulent tax returns with the IRS that did not reflect the additional personal income.

The jury convicted Pearson of tax fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft for using clients’ personally identifiable information (PII) to commit the wire fraud.

The wire fraud charge carries a maximum prison term of 20 years and a $250,000 fine. The statutory maximum penalty for filing a false tax return is three years in prison and a $100,000 fine. The aggravated identity theft charge carries a mandatory two-year sentence consecutive to any other prison term imposed. A sentencing date for Pearson has not been set. 

In making today’s announcement Acting U.S. Attorney Stetzer thanked USPIS and IRS-CI for their investigation of the case. 

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Maria Vento and Graham Billings of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte are prosecuting the case.


Updated September 23, 2021

Financial Fraud