Ohio Man Sentenced to Four Years in Prison for Precious Metals Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 15, 2013|
ORLANDO—U.S. District Judge John Antoon, II sentenced Dustin Michael Letourneau (29, Warren, Ohio) last week to four years in federal prison for mail fraud and wire fraud. Letourneau was also ordered to serve a three-year term of supervised release following his prison term and to pay $240,481 in restitution to his victims. Letourneau pleaded guilty on January 17, 2013.
According to his plea agreement, Letourneau was the chief executive officer of Letourneau Holdings Inc., which was also known as LH Metals. Letourneau Holdings claimed to invest in silver, gold, and palladium bullion on behalf of investors. Investors would give Letourneau Holdings money to invest in these items on the commodities market. Letourneau represented to investors that the physical bullion was held on their behalf with one of Letourneau Holdings’ counter parties. Rather than invest the funds as had been represented, Letourneau used significant portions of the investors’ funds for his personal benefit. During the investigation, a confidential law enforcement source recorded several conversations with Letourneau. In those recorded conversations, Letourneau admitted that he had not been purchasing precious metals. He stated, “[I’m] being stupid with my money.” He also said that would be prosecuted for mail fraud because “the proof is all there.”
To deceive his investors into believing that he was using the money to purchase precious metals, Letourneau had trade confirmations and monthly account statements sent to investors. The confirmations and statements falsely represented precious metals purchases. Letourneau was successful in defrauding 19 victims out of more than $240,000.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, Bureau of Financial Investigations. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg.