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Business Observer Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013 8 years ago

Father-and-son investment scammers sentenced

A judge sentenced a father and son to prison for their role in a gold investment scam.

FORT MYERS — A federal judge in Tampa sentenced a Fort Myers father and son to prison Jan. 30 for a $4 million gold-futures investment scam after they pleaded guilty last year, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bucklew sentenced John Henley Fowler, 64, of Fort Myers, to five years and 10 months in federal prison for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. Bucklew sentenced son Jeffrey Robert Fowler, 35, also of Fort Myers, to three years and one month in prison for a similar charge.

As part of the sentence, Bucklew also ordered a judgment of nearly $3.8 million, the proceeds of the fraud scheme.

According to the U.S. Attorney, the Fowlers solicited clients for a gold-futures program supposedly run by an existing New York-based investment firm called Paulson & Co. To make it appear legitimate, the Fowlers opened up a company and bank accounts in Florida using the investment firm's name. In fact, there was no connection between the two entities though the Fowlers attracted $4 million from unsuspecting investors.

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