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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 24, 2017

Jury Convicts Former Attorney Of Fraud Involving Ponzi Scheme

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051         
                           
BUFFALO, N.Y.-Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that a federal jury has convicted James A. MacCallum, 46, of Bemus Point, NY, of mail fraud. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael DiGiacomo and Brian J. Counihan, who handled the prosecution of the case, stated between January 2008 and December 2010, the defendant, a practicing attorney at the time, devised a scheme to defraud investors out of approximately $3,400,000. As part of the scheme, MacCallum encouraged some victims to liquidate other investments in order to benefit from his false and fraudulent higher rates of return. The defendant claimed that his investments were secured by real estate and life insurance policies. However, the Government’s evidence demonstrated that the defendant was using victim investments to pay back earlier investors and to pay personal and other expenses such as personal travel and office expenses. MacCallum received $3,423,737.00 from victim investors.

The verdict is the result of investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Adam S. Cohen.

Following today’s verdict, Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford, who presided over the trial, order the defendant detained pending sentencing on July 11, 2017, at 2:00 p.m.

Updated March 27, 2017