Criminal Justice News

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Forest Man Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud, Money Laundering

Michael Todd Crosswhite Faces Possible 20 Year Prison Term

LYNCHBURG, VA—A former financial advisor from Forest, Virginia pleaded this morning in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Lynchburg to charges of wire fraud and money laundering.

Michael Todd Crosswhite, 42, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty this morning to a two-count information charging him with one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. The defendant also agreed to pay restitution to his victims in the amount of $943,684.

“Mr. Crosswhite stole over $1,000,000 from customers who trusted him with their money,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “His long-running Ponzi scheme defrauded his clients of hard-earned and long-saved investment funds, which they had entrusted to him for protection and growth. This United States Attorney’s Office will vigorously pursue those who defraud individuals in any manner.”

This morning in District Court, Crosswhite admitted that while serving in his role as a financial advisor he defrauded several victims of approximately $1,000,000 by liquidating their investment accounts without their knowledge. The liquidated assets were then transferred, again without the consent or knowledge of the victims, to accounts established by the defendant. Those funds were then lost in risky investments, used by Crosswhite and/or kited between accounts of various victims.

At sentencing, Crosswhite faces a maximum possible penalty of up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000 on the wire fraud charge and a maximum possible penalty of up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000 on the money laundering charge.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office, and the Amherst County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Charlene Day and C. Patrick Hogeboom, III are prosecuting the case for the United States.

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