A Florida man will spend a decade in federal prison for defrauding investors in a scheme involving sales of event tickets, reports InsuranceNewsNet.
53-year-old Thomas Coelho of St. Petersburg was sentenced to 10 years behind bars by U.S. District Judge Thomas P. Barber after pleading guilty in March to wire fraud. He was also ordered to forfeit the proceeds of his scheme, amounting to $1.8 million.
Prosecutors said Coelho recruited investors by telling them he would use their funds to buy tickets to certain high-profile events and then resell the tickets to third parties for a profit. But instead of using the money raised from investors for the purported ticket business, Coelho used it for his own personal expenses, entertainment and cash withdrawals.
Court documents said Coelho presented himself to investors as a lawyer and Ivy League business school graduate and used connections in the entertainment industry to make it seem he had access to major events. As part of the scheme, he created fake documents to give the impression that the investors’ money was being used properly and to continue to induce more investments.
Before being charged in the tickets case in April 2021, Coelho had over 15 previous arrests for fraud-related incidents and had three outstanding arrests under his prior name, Thomas Jurewitz.
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