LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Penn. (WBRE/WYOU)– The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced on Wednesday, May 18, that James Abrams, age 39, of Easley, South Carolina, was indicted on Tuesday, May 17, by a federal grand jury on money laundering, fraud, identity theft, and other related charges.
According to United States Attorney John C. Gurganus, the indictment alleges that Abrams, owner and Chief Executive Officer of EthosGen LLC, provided forged documents and false information to scam investors out of $1.1 million.
Official court documents state that Abrams allegedly forged documentation that inflated EthosGen LLC’s revenues, business activity, and profitability to make it look like a more attractive investment.
The indictment also alleges that Abrams used over $796,000 of investors’ money to purchase a residence in South Carolina. To conceal his financial activities, Abrams allegedly laundered $700,000 of the funds through multiple bank accounts before the purchase.
The press release goes on to state that upon discovering the Internal Revenue Service’s criminal investigation of Abrams, he took several steps to obstruct the investigation. Namely, the indictment states he is accused of creating false documents and accountant records that claimed his embezzlement of investor funds was a shareholder loan.
Officials also say he is charged with seven counts of providing false statements to federal investigators by lying about purchasing inventory for EthosGen LLC, claiming his company owed him $800,000.
The maximum penalty under federal law for the most serious offenses is 20 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. The aggravated identity theft charges carry a mandatory, consecutive two-year minimum sentence of imprisonment.