UPDATE: Michael S. Goldberg, Ponzi Schemer Who Falsely Traded On Name Of JPMorgan Chase To Dupe Investors, Sentenced To 10 Years In Federal Prison; Caper Included Domain-Name Fraud To Give Investors False Sense Of Security
Michael S. Goldberg, the Connecticut man who lured investors into bogus deals in part by creating websites that traded on the name of JPMorgan Chase Bank and other companies, has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.
Goldberg, 40, stole more than $30 million from investors over a period of 12 years in a scheme that gathered more than $100 million, U.S. Attorney David B. Fein of the District of Connecticut said. Goldberg was charged last year, and pleaded guilty to three counts of wire fraud in September.
Elements of the prosecution were brought by the Connecticut Securities, Commodities and Investor Fraud Task Force, an arm of the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force created by President Obama in November 2009.
“As a result of this defendant’s decade-long fraud scheme, many victims lost their homes, retirement security or college savings for their children,” Fein said.
As is the case in most Ponzi schemes, victims will not emerge with much, Fein said.
“Despite the best efforts of the FBI and the receiver who has been appointed by the court to recover funds, it is unlikely that most of these victims will ever be made whole,” he said. “The lengthy prison term imposed [May 16] is an appropriate one for an individual who caused financial misery for so many, and should deter others from seeking to prey upon innocent investors.”
Goldberg, a purported diamond and real-estate expert, used a virtual playbook for fraud, according to records.
Part of his caper featured domain-name fraud in which websites were created in the name of JPMorgan Chase and others to sanitize his scheme and disarm skeptics, according to records.
Although Goldberg claimed to buy distressed assets from Chase, no such business relationship existed, prosecutors said.
If the bogus websites were not enough, Goldberg also “often created false documents and other items to induce investors to believe that his business relationships were legitimate,” the Task Force said.
Bogus inventories, manifests, contracts, business checks, bank statements, business cards and company identification cards were part of the scam, the Task Force said.
And Goldberg did not invest in “diamond contracts” as he purported, prosecutors said.
U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny ordered Goldberg to pay more than $31 million in restitution and to report to prison on July 18. Various authorities continue to unravel the scam, prosecutors said.
Read earlier story.