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PRESS RELEASE: Illinois Man Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Foreign Investor of $500,000

U.S. Attorney’s Office
December 11, 2015

Eastern District of Virginia
(703) 299-3700

Illinois Man Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Foreign Investor of $500,000

ALEXANDRIA, VA—Thomas A. Kopec, 48, of New Lenox, Illinois, pleaded guilty today to wire fraud for cheating a Panamanian investor out of $500,000.

In a statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Kopec admitted to soliciting $500,000 from the victim for a purported investment vehicle for purchasing securities and acquiring a bank. Kopec took steps in pursuing the purported investment in order to lull the victim into thinking the investment was proceeding as planned. In truth, Kopec misappropriated the moneys and spent them on personal and other expenses at retail establishments including Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and the Apple Store. Kopec started the scheme in Illinois, but relocated it to the Eastern District of Virginia, and caused the issuance of interstate wires originating in the Eastern District of Virginia in order to obtain and misappropriate the victim’s money.

Kopec was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 5, 2014. The indictment was placed under seal until Kopec’s arrest earlier this year. Kopec faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when sentenced on March 4, 2016. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Paul M. Abbate, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kosta S. Stojilkovic is prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:14-cr-204.

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