A U.S. District judge sentenced Sean Finn, Malom Group AG (Malom), Montana broker to 87 months in prison for his investment fraud involvement that had international roots. District of Nevada Judge Kent J. Dawson delivered the sentence in mid-September, through which he ordered a $6,075,000 restitution fine on 51-year-old Sean Finn , as well as an $830,000 forfeiture. Finn’s trial lasted one week, after which the judge found him guilty of wire fraud on four counts and securities fraud on four counts. Trial evidence shows that the defendant conspired with other individuals in the U.S and Switzerland, who together promoted fictitious loan and investment instruments.
The fraudsters told people that they would have access to many lucrative deals and huge loans if they paid an upfront amount between $100,000 and $1 million. Malom was supposed to receive the funds from unsuspecting victims. Malom is an acronym for “Make A Lot Of Money,” and it is the identity that Finn and his associates used to put in a false narrative.
For example, they had fake banking documents, which they used to push their false narrative that Malom had hundreds of millions of dollars held in offshore accounts. They would tell their unsuspecting victims that the company earned money from similar deals to the ones they promised to offer the clients. The judge also examined the evidence and found that Finn was indicted in 2013, but then he escaped to Canada, where he was arrested again in 2014 and was extradited into the U.S in 2018.
Finn was charged with five of his accomplices, including James Warras and Anthony Brandel, who also faced security fraud and wire fraud charges on multiple counts and conspiracy. Warras and Brandel were both imprisoned for 87 months. They will also be observed for three years once they get out of prison.
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Joseph Micelli was one of the five conspirators involved in the fraudulent activities a part of Malom. The judge ordered him to serve a 60-month prison sentence and three years of supervision, a slightly lower sentence than his counterparts. Miccelli received a lower sentence because he pleaded guilty to the charges brought against him.
Two of the suspects are still at large
Micelli, Warras, and Brandel have been brought to justice for their fraudulent activities, but two of their counterparts, namely Hans-Jurg Lips Martin Schlaepfer have not been captured. They have been hiding from justice outside the U.S. All the suspects are considered guilty unless the court proves otherwise, which means that the two men at large will are currently considered criminals. The justice system will determine whether they are innocent or guilty by assessing the evidence presented against the men.
So Far Warras and Brandel’s counterparts have been found guilty and have been sentenced accordingly. It also explains why the remaining two men fled from the law and remain hidden. The FBI has been investigating the fraud case and has so far brought three of the five criminals to justice. They are also working on catching Brandel and Warras so that they can bring them to justice.
Trial Attorney Blake C. Goebel and Assistant Deputy Chief Anna G. Kaminska provided significant contributions to the case. The Securities and Exchange Commission is also deeply involved in the case, considering that it was right up the regulatory authority’s ballpark.
Financial fraud increased in the past few months as people sought alternative high-yield investing options. Things have enormously escalated in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, which led to the loss of jobs for many people, making most of them desperate for alternative ways of making money. The desperation has encouraged many scammers out there to be creative.