By: Brad Koffel
Illegal activity by stockbrokers and financial advisors comes in many different forms. The most common would be "Ponzi Schemes", Fraud, and Theft from clients. Ohio prosecutors, including the Ohio Attorney General, are stepping up efforts to investigate, prosecute, and incarcerate "financial professionals" who prey on unsuspecting clients.
If you or someone you know may be a target of a criminal investigation for alleged investment fraud, theft, money laundering, tampering with records, wire fraud, forgery, or any other theory of criminal liability, it is highly recommended that you retain a criminal defense attorney immediately.
Recently, an Arizona man admitted guilt in Columbus, Ohio in one of the largest mortgage-fraud cases in Franklin County history. He was sentenced to 9 years in prison.
John J. Wanek, 57, of Phoenix pleaded guilty to 4 counts of money laundering, 2 counts of theft, and 1 count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and falsification.
Wanek provided false and inflated financial information and occupancy information to Merrill Lynch Mortgage Lending to obtain a $15.5 million loan. Other lenders stepped forward for a total of $35 million in fraudently obtained loans.
The explanation that "it was a real estate boom" and "everyone was doing it" didn't fly with Judge Julie Lynch who commented, "I don't think nine years is enough . . . it makes me sick, frankly".