LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Eileen J. O’Connor, Assistant Attorney General, Tax Division, United States Department of Justice, and Michael E. Yasofsky, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Miami Field Office, announced that defendants Robert Parker, a/k/a Bob Parker, of Broward County, and Gary N. Parker, of Greenville, Tennessee, were sentenced today after being found guilty by a jury on May 17, 2007 in Miami, Florida on numerous charges involving an international advance fee scheme that included the purported financing and leasing of commercial equipment. Victims from all over the world lost approximately $4,000,000.
The defendants were convicted of all charges which included mail and wire fraud, money laundering and tax evasion. After conviction, the defendants agreed to a $4,000,000 judgment and to the forfeiture of four bank accounts that contained $206,976.20 as well as a residence in Greenville, Tennessee. Today, Chief United States District Judge Federico A. Moreno, sentenced Robert Parker to 135 months’ imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release, victim restitution in the amount of $1,824,137 and a special assessment in the amount of $4,400. Chief Judge Moreno, noting Gary N. Parker’s prior conviction for the same offense, sentenced him to 240 months’ imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release, victim restitution in the amount of $1,824,137 and a special assessment in the amount of $4,400.
According to the Superseding Indictment, the defendants operated Parker Leasing and Finance Service in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. According to the evidence presented at trial, Parker Leasing and Finance Service held itself out as a business engaged in the financing and leasing of commercial equipment, with millions of dollars available for loans. In fact, the defendants enriched themselves by making material misrepresentations to individuals to induce them to apply for commercial lease funding. Ultimately, the defendants failed to deliver on the promised funding and refused to return the victims’ advanced lease payments.
The Parkers were also convicted of conspiring to impede the lawful governmental functions of the Internal Revenue Service of the Treasury Department in the collection of federal income taxes. The evidence established that the defendants diverted the proceeds from the advanced fee scam to themselves using various bank accounts and then converted the proceeds to cash in order to conceal the amount of income they received. Defendant Bob Parker was also convicted of evading federal income tax due and owing by him for the years 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004.
Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas P. Lanigan and Department of Justice Tax Division Trial Attorney Mitchell Bober and William C. Healy of the Asset Forfeit Division of the United States Attorney’s Office.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.