Las Vegas man gets 7 years for Ponzi scheme

SANTA ANA – A Las Vegas man charged in separate fraud cases was sentenced Monday to more than seven years in federal prison for running a fraud scheme that caused Orange County residents to lose more than $1 million. Jonathan Glen Turner, 39, was also ordered to pay $1.5 million in restitution.

Between January 2005 and June 2006, Turner operated companies known as Absolute International and Oasis International Holdings in Las Vegas and claimed to be in a position to import goods from Asia and then resell the items for a substantial profit to purchasing companies in the United States.

Turner recruited investors and told them their money would be used to manufacture the products in Asia and that their money would be secured by the goods themselves, or with insurance, prosecutors said.

“Turner advised the investors that he would earn a profit on the sale of the goods, and that the sale would occur approximately 3-4 months after the goods were manufactured and shipped to the United States,” FBI officials said in a news release. “Turner promised investors a particular rate of return or a specified dollar amount on their investment.”

Prosecutors said Turner created fraudulent purchase orders from various companies to fool his investors. Instead of using the investors’ money as promised, Turner used the funds for other ventures and to make Ponzi-style payments to investors which he described as profits.

Turner also used the money to fund his gambling habits at various casinos and “adult entertainment at various clubs in the Las Vegas area,” authorities said.

Approximately 10 people invested money with Turner, resulting in a loss of $1.53 million.

Turner was indicted in October 2009 by a federal grand jury in Orange County. He was convicted by a jury in 2012.

Turner, who previously served 16 months in federal prison for a similar scheme, is also scheduled to be sentenced for a separate investment scheme that he operated while free on bail in 2011 and 2012. Turner was convicted in that case in August 2013 and is scheduled to be sentenced July 21.



Published: May 15, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 05