Husband and Wife Sentenced in Virginia for Investment Fraud Scheme
|U.S. Department of Justice December 11, 2012|
WASHINGTON—Former FBI agent John Robert “Bob” Graves and his wife Sara Turberville Graves were sentenced today in federal court to serve 135 months in prison and 36 months in prison, respectively, for their participation in an investment fraud scheme, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Neil H. MacBride; Jeffrey C. Mazanec, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office; and Keith A. Fixel, Inspector in Charge of the Charlotte Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS).
John Graves, 53, and Sara Graves, 45, both of Fredericksburg, Virginia, were sentenced by U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer in the Eastern District of Virginia. In addition to their prison sentences, John and Sara Graves were both sentenced to serve three years of supervised release and were also ordered to pay $1,235,773 in restitution to the victims of their fraud.
On April 27, 2012, John and Sara Graves were both convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, one count of mail fraud, and four counts of wire fraud. John Graves was also convicted of three counts of Investment Advisers Act fraud and one count of making false statements to the FBI. The defendants were previously ordered to forfeit over $1.3 million, including the contents of several bank and brokerage accounts.
John and Sara Graves were indicted on October 4, 2011. According to the evidence presented at trial, John Graves, who is a former special agent with the FBI, founded and served as president of Brooke Point Management (BPM), a corporation through which he sold insurance, performed estate and tax planning services, and recruited and advised investment clients. He was also a registered investment advisory representative with, and CEO of, Compass Financial Advisers, an Indiana-based registered investment advisory firm. Sara Graves served as secretary of BPM and managing member of Dupont Auburn Real Estate, an Indiana real estate investment company. Between approximately June 2008 and July 2011, John and Sara Graves devised and executed a scheme to defraud approximately 11 investors located in central Virginia of approximately $1.3 million.
According to the evidence presented at trial, John and Sara Graves raised investor funds by selling investments in BPM and Dupont Auburn Real Estate through misrepresentations about the safety and security of the investments, as well as misrepresentations and omissions regarding their intended use of investor money. According to evidence presented at trial, John and Sara Graves used investor funds to, among other things, pay back previous investors who requested access to their money, purchase real estate, pay personal expenses, including credit card bills and time share dues, and to pay for John Graves’ personal acquisition of Compass Financial Advisers. As alleged at trial, John Graves continued to make misrepresentations even after the scheme was uncovered, through false and misleading filings in U.S. Bankruptcy Court and false and misleading statements to investors and to investigators from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), FBI, and USPIS.
The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Kevin B. Muhlendorf of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jamie L. Mickelson and Michael R. Gill of the Eastern District of Virginia. This case was investigated by the FBI and USPIS. The department acknowledges the significant assistance provided by the SEC, which referred the case for criminal prosecution.
This investigation has been coordinated by the Virginia Financial and Securities Fraud Task Force, an unprecedented partnership between criminal investigators and civil regulators to investigate and prosecute complex financial fraud cases in the nation and in Virginia. The task force is an investigative arm of the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, an interagency national task force.
President Obama established the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices, and state and local partners, it is the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory, and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state, and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets; and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions, and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.