Laurie Schneider Indicted by a Federal Grand Jury for Allegedly Operating Ponzi Schemes

February 2, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on February 1, 2012 released the following:

“Oceanside Woman Indicted for Operating Ponzi Schemes

Defendant Allegedly Defrauded Investors of More Than $4 Million

Laurie Schneider, of Oceanside, New York, has been indicted for operating Ponzi schemes that defrauded investors of more than $4 million.[1] The defendant was arraigned earlier today before United States Magistrate Judge A. Kathleen Tomlinson at the United States Courthouse, 100 Federal Plaza, Central Islip, New York.

The charges were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Janice K. Fedarcyk, Assistant Director in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office.

As alleged in the indictment, Schneider began accepting money in September 2006 from individuals seeking a return on their investment. In one scheme, operating a shell company incorporated as Janitorial Close-Out City Corp., Schneider falsely informed potential investors that Janitorial Close-Out invested in industrial equipment and machinery manufactured by companies in China. To induce investments, Schneider, among other things, (1) personally guaranteed specified positive rates of return as high as 60 percent, (2) represented that she had a business contact who had strong relationships with companies in China, and (3) represented that she would be able to buy the industrial equipment and machinery at wholesale prices which Janitorial Close-Out would resell in the United States at a 15 to 60 percent profit over a nine to 18-month period. In fact, the indictment charges that Schneider actually was running a Ponzi scheme, paying returns to Janitorial Close-Out investors not from any profits earned on the purchase and resale of industrial equipment and machinery, but rather from existing investors’ deposits or money paid by new investors. Schneider never produced or earned the rates of return that she promised. Rather, the positive rates of return were simply pre-determined rates made up by Schneider based upon fictitious profits.

The government estimates that Schneider defrauded over 25 investors in Janitorial Close-Out of more than $4 million, and more than $5 million through related schemes.

“In these difficult economic times, it’s all the more troubling that, as alleged in the indictment, someone would take advantage of the trust of investors for personal financial gain,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “As alleged, this defendant falsely represented herself as having international business connections that would benefit her investors, when in reality she was engaged in purely homegrown fraud and deception. This indictment serves as a warning that we will vigorously investigate and prosecute those who, by deceit and false promises, would steal from those who believed they were investing in a legitimate enterprise.” Ms. Lynch added that the government’s investigation is continuing.

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Fedarcyk stated, “Ponzi schemes have been around for so long because, unfortunately, they are such an effective means of swindling people out of their hard-earned money. Investors need to be wary of ‘investment opportunities’ that ‘guarantee’ inordinately high rates of return, and should perform due diligence. But it is the perpetrators of these fraudulent schemes, not their victims, who are to blame. The FBI remains committed to protecting the investing public from them.”

If convicted, Schneider faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment on each of three counts of wire fraud count.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Richard T. Lunger and Lara Treinis Gatz.

The Defendant:

LAURIE SCHNEIDER Age: 37

[1] The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Former Citigroup VP Charged with Bank Fraud for Allegedly Embezzling More Than $19 Million

June 27, 2011

U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of New York on June 27, 2011 released the following press release:

“Gary Foster, a former vice president in Citigroup, Inc.’s treasury finance department has been arrested on bank fraud charges arising from his embezzlement of more than $19 million. Foster was apprehended at John F. Kennedy International Airport Sunday morning when he arrived on a flight from Bangkok.[1]

The defendant’s initial appearance is scheduled this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Ramon E. Reyes, Jr. at the United States Courthouse, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York.

The charges and arrest were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Janice K. Fedarcyk, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office.

According to the complaint, Foster transferred money from various Citigroup accounts to Citigroup’s cash account and then to his personal account at a different bank. Between July 2010 and December 2010, he allegedly caused approximately $900,000 to be moved from Citigroup’s interest expense account and approximately $14.4 million from Citigroup’s debt adjustment account to the bank’s cash account, and then caused the money to be wired out of Citigroup’s cash account to his personal account at another bank in eight separate wire transfers. The complaint further charges that Foster caused a fraudulent contract or deal number to be placed in the reference line of the wire transfer instructions to create the appearance that the transfers were in support of an existing contract.

“The defendant allegedly used his knowledge of bank operations to commit the ultimate inside job. We are committed to ensuring the integrity of the banking system and to prosecuting those who would undermine it for their personal gain,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. Ms. Lynch expressed her appreciation to Citigroup, which brought this matter to the attention of the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“The egregious behavior of those who would exploit our banking system for personal and criminal gain will not be tolerated. We remain committed to investigating and apprehending those who cheat the system,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Fedarcyk.

If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of 30 years’ imprisonment on the bank fraud charges.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Michael L. Yaeger and Karen Hennigan.

The Defendant:

GARY FOSTER
Age: 35

[1] The charges in the complaint are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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