Former Resident of Troy Sentenced to Serve Six Years in Prison for Fraud and Tax Evasion
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 19, 2013|
Scott Atkins, 44, of Scottsdale, Arizona, and a former resident of Troy, Michigan, was sentenced on September 18, 2013, to serve six years in custody for operating an advanced fee fraud scheme and tax evasion, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.
Imposing the sentence was U.S. District Judge Marianne O. Battani.
According to information provided to the court at the April 17, 2013 guilty plea hearing, from February 2005 through August 10, 2010, Atkins, falsely portraying himself as a hedge fund manager and/or an attorney, solicited large advanced fees by falsely promising to arrange large commercial loans for over 50 individual and commercial clients throughout the nation. In fact, Atkins had no means to secure such funding and never intended to do so. Moreover, Atkins never intended to keep his promises that the advanced fees would be refunded should financing not materialize but always intended to use the funds to pay for personal expenses. As a result of these activities, Atkins’ clients lost over $1,400,000.
In addition, Atkins never reported or paid any income taxes on any of the funds he received during that period and evaded his income tax liability, totaling over $270,000, by opening bank accounts in the names of fictitious entities, sometimes using the Social Security number of his minor daughter, and depositing funds into those accounts or transferring or directing his income into accounts controlled by his mother.
Upon his release from custody, the court ordered Atkins to serve three years on supervised release and pay restitution of over $1,730,000 to the victims of his advanced fee fraud scheme, as well as related investment fraud, and $270,094 to the Internal Revenue Service.
FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge John Robert Shoup stated, “We are very proud of the work done by the FBI and the IRS-Criminal Investigation Division in this complex case. Large-scale financial crimes have a tremendous negative impact on our economy, and the FBI remains committed to investigating them.”
“Atkins is a scam artist. He took money from people with no intention of producing what he promised. He used the money for his own personal gain,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Carolyn Weber. “IRS-Criminal Investigation will thoroughly investigate those who blatantly steal from others and fail to pay their taxes.”
The investigation of this case was conducted by the FBI and IRS-Criminal Investigation.