126-Month Prison Sentence for Ponzi Scheme Orchestrator

by Andrew Murray | August 21st, 2019

On August 5, 2019, the Department of Justice announced the sentence for the Wisconsin man convicted of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit tax fraud. The Press Release states:

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Over the course of several years and while he was on federal supervised release for a prior fraud conviction, Golant orchestrated a sophisticated Ponzi scheme through which he obtained over $30 million from at least 40 different victims.  Golant was in the business of purchasing luxury vehicles in the United States and then selling them at a substantial profit to foreign buyers overseas, typically in China.  Golant engaged in a long-term fraud scheme in which Golant obtained the funds from third parties by representing that the funds would be used to purchase specific luxury vehicles.  The third parties included vehicle brokers, investors, and lenders.  In some instances, Golant never purchased the specific vehicle and did not return the funds.  In other instances, Golant purported to sell the same luxury vehicle to multiple clients at the same time.  In still other instances, Golant obtained funds from investors, lenders, or clients for the purchase of luxury vehicles he knew had already been sold and exported.  To carry out the scheme, Golant made numerous misrepresentations, including preparing multiple fraudulent financing applications to obtain financing for vehicles he knew had previously been exported.

Through the scheme, Golant obtained at least $30 million from at least 40 different victims.  He used the funds to support his lavish lifestyle and maintain his wealthy image—including flying across the country in private jets to engage in high-stakes gambling at exclusive casinos, and living in a 10,000 square foot home that was rented for $7,500 a month.  Golant also used the funds to pay off gambling debts and to pay professional gamblers to gamble on his behalf.  In addition, Golant used the funds to attempt to sustain his luxury vehicle export businesses by using client funds to pay off prior loans, and using one client’s funds to satisfy obligations due to his other clients.  In the end, Golant’s scheme left at least 22 victims with a net loss of approximately $17.7 million and the United States with a tax loss of approximately $5.4 million.

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