Arizona Executive Pleads Guilty in $500,000 Investment Scheme
BOSTON—An Arizona man pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Boston to defrauding four people who invested in his foreign currency trading company.
David Prescott, 45, formerly of Boston, pleaded guilty today to four counts of wire fraud. Prescott, who previously went by the name of David Weeks, was indicted on those charges in February 2015. U.S. District Judge Allison D. Burroughs scheduled sentencing for Feb. 10, 2016.
Prescott was the owner and President of Cambridge Currency Partners, LLC (CCP), which was purportedly engaged in the business of buying and selling foreign currency. Prescott falsely represented to investors that their funds would be invested in CCP and used for business purposes, and that the investors would receive a monthly return. In fact, Prescott used the majority of the $500,000 he received on personal expenses and repayments to other investors.
As part of the scheme, Prescott solicited investors by promising monthly returns, and made payments to them that purported to be interest, but, in fact, simply consisted of money from other investors. Prescott promised investors guaranteed monthly returns in amounts ranging from three to nine percent with little to no risk to the underlying principal. Prescott made false representations to the investors regarding the balances in their accounts. As a result, Prescott was able to secure multiple investments from the same investors. On one occasion, Prescott allegedly e-mailed an investor and promised to increase the interest paid on her previous investments if she were willing to invest additional funds, even though Prescott had already spent the majority of her previous investments on personal expenses and repayments to other investors.
The charging statute provides a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000 or twice the gain or loss, and restitution on each count. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark J. Balthazard of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.