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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Georgia Man Sentenced for Fraud

ROCHESTER, N.Y.-- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Tony Leon Smith, 64, of Snellville, Georgia, who was convicted after a jury trial of wire fraud and money laundering, was sentenced to 96 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $5,175,000 by U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tiffany H. Lee and John J. Field, who handled the prosecution of the case at trial, the defendant defrauded two investors in the Western District of New York in two separate high yield investment schemes out of a total of $5,175,000. Smith claimed to be a multi-millionaire and experienced investor and employed an elaborate ruse to convince his victims that he had experience in international investments. The defendant promised his victims high yield returns in a short period of time. Smith convinced one victim to wire him $5,000,000 to an offshore bank account in St. Kitts. Instead of investing the amount as promised, the defendant wire transferred the money back to himself and others into bank accounts in Rochester, NY. Neither victim ever got their money back.

The sentencing is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Christopher M. Piehota and the United States Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Kevin M. Niland, Inspector in Charge, Boston Division.

Updated November 18, 2014