NC fraudster claimed to be a Navy SEAL, prosecutors say
By JOE MARUSAK | The Charlotte Observer (Tribune News Service) | Published: September 20, 2016
A Huntersville, N.C. man who claimed to be a U.S. Navy Seal was sentenced to federal prison this week for his role in a fraud scheme that bilked investors of nearly $830,000.
Charles Edwin Abrams, a.k.a. Charles Edwin Klutz and Charles Edwin Donovan, 53, was sentenced to two years and six months for promoting an investment scheme known as the Mexican “Pink Lady” Bonds, U.S. Attorney Jill Rose said Tuesday.
He and a co-conspirator spent part of the proceeds on luxury vehicles and jewelery and to pay off investors in other fraudulent schemes, Rose said.
Abrams pleaded guilty in May to wire fraud conspiracy and securities fraud conspiracy.
Prosecutors said Abrams conned seven victims to invest in the scheme by making numerous false claims about the value of the bonds and the anticipated return on the victims’ investment, court records show.
Abrams, for example, told potential investors that the bonds were issued in 1899 by the “United States of Mexico,” that the bonds had a value of 5 percent interest compounded daily and that victim investors would receive billions of dollars when the bonds were sold, according to court records.
He claimed to investors that he was a Navy Seal, when he never served in the military, Rose said. Abrams also falsely told investors that his co-conspirator was an FBI special agent, she said.
During Abrams’ sentencing hearing, one of his victims told the court of the devastating financial impact she suffered, including not being able to retire and that she “no longer trusts anyone.”
Senior U.S. District Judge Graham Mullen also ordered Abrams to pay $828,284 in restitution to his victims and to undergo mental health treatment.
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