Guilty Plea in Multi-Million-Dollar Investment Fraud Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office January 24, 2013|
SACRAMENTO, CA—Daniel Chartraw, 39, formerly of El Dorado County, pleaded guilty today to wire fraud in connection with a multi-million-dollar investment fraud scheme, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, between January 1, 2007 and November 31, 2011, Chartraw defrauded numerous investors by falsely representing investments in mines, mining and refinery equipment, oil commodities, precious metals concentrate, and multi-million-dollar certificates of deposit.
According to the plea agreement, Chartraw stole $1 million by fraudulently posing as an owner and manager of a company selling “dore” bars, which Chartraw claimed contained precious metals. Chartraw arranged for an investor to tour the company and managed to limit the investor’s interaction with the company’s true owners and prevent discovery of the scheme. When the investor placed $1 million into an escrow account for the purchase of the dore bars, Chartraw used a forged letter to get the escrow company to send the money to accounts that he and others controlled.
The plea agreement estimates that investors lost a total of $2,606,448 to $3,639,448 through Chartraw’s schemes. In a companion civil forfeiture action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and FBI seized Chartraw’s 2011 Escalade and sold it for $50,500. The proceeds of its sale are being returned to the investors whose money was used to purchase the vehicle.
Chartraw is scheduled to be sentenced on May 2, 2013, by U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England, Jr. Chartraw faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. As part of his plea agreement, Chartraw will also be ordered to pay restitution to his victims. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael D. Anderson and Kevin Khasigian are prosecuting the case.