A Scottsdale man was sentenced in Michigan Wednesday to six years in prison for tax evasion and masterminding an advanced fraud scheme.
Scott Atkins, 44, a former resident of Troy, MI, was also ordered to serve three years on supervised release and pay restitution of more than $1.7 million to the victims of his advanced fee fraud hoax, as well as related investment fraud. In addition, he must pay the IRS $270,094.
Prosecutors said Atkins falsely portraying himself as a hedge fund manager and/or an attorney from February 2005 to Aug. 10, 2010.
He solicited large advanced fees by falsely promising to arrange large commercial loans for more than 50 individual and commercial clients throughout the nation, prosecutors said.
The court said Atkins had no means to secure such funding and never intended to do so. Atkins never intended to keep his promises that the advanced fees would be refunded should financing not materialize, but rather, always intended to use the funds to pay for personal expenses, prosecutors said. Atkins' clients lost more than $1.4 million.
Atkins never reported or paid any income taxes on any of the funds he received during that period, and evaded his income tax liability, totaling in excess of $270,000, by opening bank accounts in the names of fictitious entities, the court said. He sometimes used the social security number of his minor daughter, and deposited funds into those accounts, or transferred or directed his income into accounts controlled by his mother, prosecutors said.
"Atkins is a scam artist," said Acting Special Agent in Charge Carolyn Weber. "He took money from people with no intention of producing what he promised. He used the money for his own personal gain.
The FBI and the IRS conducted the investigation.
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