Four Convicted in $18m Investment Fraud Scheme

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Four men have been found guilty of participating in a global investment fraud and money laundering conspiracy that tricked victims out of over $18m.

The conspiracy ran from 2013 to 2021 and centered on the activities of “The Brittingham Group,” a company founded by John Nock, 55, of Fayetteville, Arkansas. His co-conspirators were named as: Brian Brittsan, 67, of San Marcos, California; Kevin Griffith, 67, of Orem, Utah; and Alexander Ituma, 57, of Lehi, Utah.

As is the case with most investment fraud schemes, the quartet promised massive returns on victims’ investments which they were unable to fulfil.

Nock and Brittsan directed these victims to send their money to bank accounts controlled by Griffith, Ituma and other co-conspirators. It was then laundered through a “complex web” of global bank accounts, according to the Department of Justice (DoJ).

Read more on investment fraud: Five Arrests in Crackdown on $98m Investment Fraud Gang

“The defendants abused their positions of trust to entice victims into parting with more than $18m,” said acting assistant attorney general, Nicole Argentieri.

“The defendants then used their financial backgrounds to systematically launder the money through a web of international bank accounts. This case stands as a stark message to those who defraud others for their personal gain: you will be found, you will be prosecuted, and you will be convicted.”

According to the indictment, investors in the scheme were promised returns of as much as 200% or 300% within 20 to 30 days. The scammers also forged letters from financial institutions to allay any victim concerns that their money wasn’t safe.

A federal jury in the Western District of Arkansas convicted each defendant of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. They face a maximum of 20 years in prison on each count. Nock was convicted on a separate count of money laundering for which he faces a maximum of 10 years behind bars. A date for sentencing has not yet been set.

Investment fraud was the highest-grossing cybercrime type of 2022, amassing $3.3bn for cyber-criminals in cases reported to the FBI.

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