Las Vegas Man Sentenced to More Than Seven Years in Fraud Scheme That Caused Orange County Victims to Lose More Than $1 Million
|FBI Los Angeles May 12, 2014|
A man charged in separate federal fraud cases was sentenced today in the first case to more than seven years in federal prison, announced André Birotte, Jr., the United States Attorney for the Central District of California, and Bill Lewis, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI in Los Angeles.
Jonathan Glen Turner, 39, formerly of Las Vegas, was sentenced to by the Honorable James V. Selna to 87 months in federal prison. Judge Selna also ordered Turner to pay $1,563,577 in restitution, the estimated amount lost to victims.
Turner was indicted in October 2009 by a federal grand jury in Orange County, California, with two counts of mail fraud and two counts of wire fraud in connection with the case, which is further described below. Following his trial in United States District Court in Orange County, California, Turner was convicted by a jury of all counts in the indictment on October 5, 2012.
During the period from January 2005 to June 2006, Turner operated companies known as Absolute International and Oasis International Holdings in Las Vegas, Nevada, and claimed to be in a position to import goods from Asia and then resell the goods for a substantial profit to purchasing companies in the United States.
Turner recruited investors and told them that their money would be used to manufacture products in Asia and that their money would be secured by the goods themselves or with insurance. Turner advised the investors that he would earn a profit on the sale of the goods and that the sale would occur approximately three to four months after the goods were manufactured and shipped to the United States. Turner promised investors a particular rate of return or a specified dollar amount on their investment.
Turner created fraudulent purchase orders from various companies for investors to create the false impression that the products had already been ordered and sold to companies in the United States. The investors relied on these documents, believing them to be legitimate. Based on the assurances from Turner, investors gave Turner funds to have products manufactured overseas. Turner concealed from victim investors the fact that he did not have the goods manufactured, that the goods were not insured, and that there were no actual buyers.
Instead of using the investors’ funds as promised, Turner used the victims’ money for other ventures and used some of their money to make Ponzi-style payments to investors that he described as profits. Turner also used investors’ funds to pay personal expenses and to withdraw large amounts of cash from the company’s bank accounts to fund his gambling habits at various casinos and adult entertainment at various clubs in the Las Vegas area.
Turner recruited approximately 10 victim investors during the scheme, some of whom reinvested with him on multiple occasions. Turner’s victims deposited approximately $2.6 million during the 18 month period he operated the scheme. The estimated loss to victims was $1,563,577.
Turner, who served 16 months in federal prison for a similar scheme investigated by the FBI’s Dallas Division, is also scheduled to be sentenced for a separate investment scheme that victimized Orange County residents, which he operated while free on bail and living in Las Vegas during 2011 and 2012. Turner was convicted in that that case in August 2013 and is scheduled to be sentenced on July 21, 2014.
This case was investigated by the FBI’s Orange County Resident Agency, part of the Los Angeles Field Office of the FBI. Turner was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office, Central District of California.
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