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Justice News

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

Friday, December 19, 2014

Las Vegas Man Pleads Guilty To Wire Fraud

CONTACT:Barbara Burns
PHONE:  (716) 843-5817
FAX: (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y.—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that John Nielsen, 42, of Las Vegas, Nevada, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Arcara, to wire fraud. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell T. Ippolito, Jr., who is handling the case, stated that the defendant was involved in an investment loan scheme which resulted in $175,000 dollars in financial losses to an investment company, Preston Waters Corp., located in the Western District of New York.  Nielsen represented to the company that he could obtain a standby letter of credit from banks outside the United States. The defendant assured representatives that he could monetize the stand by letter of credit which would provide the investment company with $100 million dollars in loans. As part of the scheme, Nielsen required the investment company to provide him with $175,000 which would purportedly cover the costs associated with the financial transaction. The investment company provided the funds but instead of using the money to obtain financing, the defendant, and his co-conspirator, used the funds for their own purposes.

The plea was the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 19, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. before Judge Arcara.

Updated December 29, 2014