Littleton Woman Arrested for Oil Investment Scheme
DENVER—Jill M. Evans, age 49, of Littleton, Colorado was arrested last week on charges of wire fraud and money laundering, the United States Attorney’s Office, IRS – Criminal Investigation (IRS CI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced. Evans was indicted by a federal grand jury on May 21, 2015. The indictment remained under seal until her arrest on May 27, 2015. Evans appeared on that date in federal court where she was advised of her rights as well as the charges pending against her. She was then ordered released on May 29, 2015, by a U.S. Magistrate Judge on a 50 percent secured bond, where she needs to pay 10 percent of the bond (or $5,000).
According to the indictment, in September 2011 and continuing through May 2015, Evans devised a scheme to defraud at least eight individuals whom she solicited to invest in alleged oil transactions. Evans informed or caused others to inform potential investors that she or one of her companies, Paramount Mortgage or Evcom, had rights or agreements related to the purchase and resale of petroleum products, including diesel oil or jet fuel. She claimed that the oil deals could not be completed until certain fees or other expenses related to the deals could be paid.
Evans falsely told investors they would receive a return on their investment ranging from fifty percent to fifty times their original investment within a matter of days or weeks. She told investors that their funds would be held in an escrow account and would be fully refundable if the oil deal did not close. Evans instructed investors to transfer funds to bank accounts. Some investors’ funds were not used as represented and were also sent to personal bank accounts that Evans controlled. Of those funds transferred to personal accounts she controlled, she used those funds for her own personal expenses.
She would tell investors that oil deals were nearing successful completion and that disbursements of profits were imminent. She sent e-mails attaching fabricated court documents regarding the status of civil litigation purporting to award Evans or related parties substantial sums of money. When the oil deals failed to close, she told investors that she would be able to pay investors from these proceeds.
Furthermore, Evans concealed from investors her December 2011 criminal indictment by a State of Colorado grand jury and her subsequent March 2013 criminal conviction for theft and forgery. Evans’s bond conditions prohibited her from entering into any financial transactions in excess of $1,000, and the terms of her subsequent state sentence prohibited her from investing money, entering into any financial contracts or arrangements, and having access to or control of any funds of any individual.
Evans was charged with eight counts of wire fraud and six counts of money laundering. Wire fraud carries a penalty of not more than 20 years in federal prison, and a fine of up to $250,000. Money laundering carries a penalty of not more than 10 years in federal prison, and a fine of up to $250,000. Included in the indictment is a notice of forfeiture for any property traceable to the money laundering charges alleged in the indictment.
This case was investigated by IRS – Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anna K. Edgar.
The charges contained in the indictment are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.