Former Attorney Indicted in Ponzi Scheme
BUFFALO, NY—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that a federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging James A. MacCallum, 44, of Bemus Point, NY, with mail fraud. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael DiGiacomo, who is handling the case, stated that according to the indictment, between January 2008 and December 2010, the defendant, a practicing attorney at the time, devised a scheme to defraud investors out of approximately $3,400,000. As part of the scheme, MacCallum encouraged some victims to liquidate other investments in order to benefit from his false and fraudulent higher rates of return. The defendant claimed that his investments were secured by real estate and life insurance policies. However, the investigation determined that the defendant was using victim investments to pay back earlier investors and also personal and other expenses such as personal travel and office expenses. According to the indictment, MacCallum received approximately $3,423,737.00 from victim investors.
The defendant was arraigned today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy and was released on bond.
The indictment is the result of/culmination of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Adam S. Cohen and the Chautauqua County District Attorney’s Office, under the direction of David Foley. The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.