U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Arizona
(602) 514-7500
December 9, 2014

Scottsdale Man Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison for Standby Letter of Credit Scheme

PHOENIX—J’Sean Claude Butierries, 51, of Scottsdale, Ariz., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Neil V. Wake to 18 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, on wire fraud and money laundering charges. Butierries pleaded guilty in September to defrauding investors out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by selling fraudulent investments and then using that money to buy expensive cars and other luxury items for himself and family members.

“The very large, short-term gains that Butierries falsely claimed he could produce were unreasonable, and the public should be wary of such claims made by anyone,” said U.S. Attorney John S. Leonardo. “Butierries said he could deliver these gains by trading standby letters of credit, which do not exist, and the United States Attorney’s Office warns the public to stay away from financial predators who make these claims.”

Butierries owned and operated a company called Chenise International, Ltd., through which he offered the investors a 30%-plus return, to be paid within 15 days. Butierries, who was not licensed or registered to sell securities, claimed that he was able to engage in trading in standby letters of credit, an investment vehicle simply does not exist. This type of fraud, sometimes referred to as “prime bank investment fraud,” is marked by false claims of very large, short term gains, claims of “private” trading programs, the use of “standby letters of credit” or “proof of funds” documents, and other promises that use terms and concepts that mimic legitimate banking terms but are not themselves legitimate.

Butierries used the funds to purchase a $195,000 Audi R8 for himself, a $75,000 Audi A730 for his wife, a boat, and several motorcycles. All of the items were seized from Butierries’s home and Butierries agreed to forfeit those items as part of his plea, with funds going to reimburse investors. Butierries was ordered to pay the balance to investors in the form of restitution.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Phoenix Division of the FBI. The prosecution was handled by Monica Klapper, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix. For more information on this type of fraud, with tips on how to avoid falling prey to it, visit the FBI website at www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud or the Department of Treasury website at www.treasury.gov/scams/Prime-Bank-Investment-Fraud.

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