Former Financial Representative Is Sentenced To Seven Years In Prison For $1.1 Million Fraud Scheme
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Sampson Pearson, 45, of Charlotte, was sentenced today to seven years in prison followed by two years of supervised release for defrauding his clients of more than a million dollars, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. A federal jury previously convicted Pearson of wire fraud, tax fraud, and aggravated identity theft.
Tommy D. Coke, Inspector in Charge of the Atlanta Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), which oversees Charlotte, and Donald “Trey” Eakins, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, Charlotte Field Office (IRS-CI), join U.S. Attorney King 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 $1.1 million 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.
According to court records, Pearson also 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.
At today’s sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn Jr. noted that “deterrence is very important in financial cases.”
In making today’s announcement U.S. Attorney King thanked USPIS and IRS-CI for their investigation of the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cassye Cole, Graham Billings and Maria Vento handled the prosecution.
Updated March 23, 2023