Tomahawk Woman Sentenced for Wire Fraud & Money Laundering
MADISON, WIS. -- John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Patricia Hass, 63, Tomahawk, Wis., was sentenced on Tuesday, February 16, 2016, by U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson to 51 months in federal prison for wire fraud and money laundering. Hass pleaded guilty to these charges on November 23, 2015. Judge Peterson also ordered Hass to pay $381,335.27 in restitution to her victims.
Hass engaged in a wire fraud scheme to defraud investors by promising returns from an investment in internet pop up ads. She falsely told investors they would obtain a return of anywhere from 5 to 20 times their original investment. Hass also falsely told investors if the investment failed she would personally guarantee the return of the original investment plus 7% interest. However, Hass did not invest any of the funds given to her for investment. Instead, she used the investment funds to pay her personal living expenses.
Hass engaged in money laundering by taking the investment proceeds of new investors to pay back old investors and calling it a return on their investment.
In sentencing Hass, Judge Peterson told her that the impact on her victims was devastating. He noted that she lived a comfortable life while her victims struggled financially to recover from her criminal conduct. Judge Peterson found that Hass posed a significant risk of further criminal activity and a significant prison sentence was warranted, observing that the 51-month prison sentence shows the Court takes this crime seriously.
The charges against Hass are the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the IRS Criminal Investigation. The prosecution of this case has been assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel J. Graber.