Florida Man Pleads Guilty to $433,000 Fraud
SAN FRANCISCO—Leigh Farrington Fiske pleaded guilty in federal court on June 11, 2014, to wire fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, Special Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, Special Agent in Charge Scott O’Briant, and FBI Special Agent in Charge David J. Johnson.
In pleading guilty, Fiske, 50, of Tampa, Florida, admitted that he and his partner, Michael Ramdat, operated a business referred to as Corporate Funding Solutions. The purported purpose of this business was to obtain credit lines for customers in exchange for a fee. Fiske’s role was to solicit customers, which he generally did over the Internet and by word of mouth. In reality, neither Fiske nor Ramdat ever intended to provide any services to their customers. Instead, they accepted approximately $433,000 from approximately 30 victims and never helped any of these victims obtain credit. Fiske admitted that he kept $102,000 of these payments for himself and that he passed the remainder on to Ramdat.
Fiske and Ramdat were charged in a superseding indictment on November 21, 2013. Fiske pleaded guilty to five counts of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343. Ramdat pleaded guilty in February 2014 to five counts of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343, and one count of conspiracy, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349.
Fiske is scheduled for sentencing on September 17, 2014, at 2:30 p.m. before the Honorable Edward M. Chen, United States District Court Judge, in San Francisco. The maximum statutory penalty for violating 18 U.S.C. § 1343 is 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 million fine, plus restitution. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Benjamin Kingsley is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case, with the assistance of Mary Mallory and Rawaty Yim. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by SIGTARP and the FBI.