On Jan. 12, a 36-year-old man was sentenced to five years in a New York prison for his role in a text message scheme. The scheme worked by signing up customers for paid text messaging services without their knowledge. The charges had included wire fraud, money laundering, conspiracy and identity theft. The defendant was the former senior vice president of Mobile Messenger.
On Nov. 27, a well-known New York landlord pleaded guilty to multiple charges related to mortgage fraud. The defendant was also found guilty of attempting to illegally evict tenants from one of his properties earlier in the year.
New York residents may be interested to learn that, on Sept. 30, it was reported that Paul Manafort, President Trump's former campaign chairman, was accused of laundering more than $18 million by placing the funds in offshore accounts. It was believed that he used these funds to purchase numerous multi-million dollar properties and other luxury goods and services.
While many New York residents may have enjoyed Leonardo DiCaprio's performance in "The Wolf of Wall Street", few will be aware that the Oscar-winning actor is in some ways connected to a federal money laundering investigation over his involvement in the project. DiCaprio released a statement in October 2016 revealing that he has assisted investigators who are tracking about $3.5 billion that was allegedly misappropriated from a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund.
New York residents may be interested to learn that a New Jersey-based management firm along with its CEO have agreed to pay more than $4 million in order to settle charges after they were accused of being involved in a Ponzi scheme. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the firm used new investor money to pay earlier investors.
A former administrator of the school of professional services at the City University of New York has been charged with allegedly embezzling an undisclosed amount from the university while he was employed there. The 43-year-old man was taken into custody in Los Angeles on April 7.
A New York town councilman was taken into custody on March 31 and charged with tax evasion, wire fraud, failing to file a return or pay tax and making and subscribing to false corporate tax returns. Allegedly the man owes $250,000 in taxes and diverted $800,000 of an employer's revenue.
On March 28, a New York woman pleaded guilty to embezzling $4.1 million from her employer. Officials from the Erie County District Attorney's Office said it is one of the largest individual embezzlement cases prosecutors can recall handling.
Two New York City businessmen were indicted on March 7 for allegedly running a Ponzi scheme that involved purported investments in Broadway show and concert tickets. The Securities and Exchange Commission alleged that the two men took in $97 million through the scheme from 138 investors from 17 states.
On Feb. 15, New York officials announced the arrest of four individuals accused of defrauding the Build It Back program, an initiative designed to help property owners rebuild after Hurricane Sandy. The alleged schemes resulted in the theft of $300,000 in disaster relief funds and the attempted theft of $1 million in property.