A financial adviser in the US will spend the next 22 years in prison after he defrauded his own family out of millions.
Treyton Lee Thomas has been sentenced to 262 months in prison for wire fraud and 60 months for tax evasion to run concurrently, as stated by the US Attorney for the eastern district of North Carolina.
Thomas represented himself as a Harvard educated investment adviser and convinced his wife and father-in-law to invest conservatively in US Treasury Bills. He also convinced his own father to invest via his used car warranty company and took money from customers of the company.
In reality, Thomas used the funds to conduct risky trades in the commodities and futures market via an online brokerage firm.
|Sponsored by OnePath Life|
Join us on the New Path
To conceal the fraud, he provided investors and various financial institutions with false information and fabricated bank and brokerage statements.
To obtain additional funds, he used the same false information and fabricated statements to defraud financial institutions out of close to $3 million.
In addition to the money that was lost on risky trades, he also used more than $2.35 million to pay personal expenses.
At the same time Thomas failed to pay income taxes for two decades, using offshore entities in the Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands to conceal his income. He also hired locals in the area to act as his nominee in numerous business ventures.
They would open and manage bank accounts through which Thomas moved the victims' funds in an out of the US, the US Attorney said.
He also created fake employees to appear as though he ran a large, successful investment fund and used aliases to hide his identity.
In addition to the prison time, Thomas was ordered to repay $10.7 million in restitution to the victims of his fraudulent investment scheme. He will pay a further $10.7 million to the US.
Thomas was convicted in November 2016 on 21 counts of wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering.
Although he pleaded guilty at the time, the court determined he was not entitled to a reduced sentence as a result of his attempts to obstruct justice.