A Virginia federal judge handed down an eight-year prison sentence to a Florida man who duped hundreds of investors out of over $8 million. Stanley Shew-A-Tjon, 62, of Davie, Florida, previously pled guilty to one count of securities fraud, which carries a maximum potential sentence of up to twenty-five years in prison. The sentence, imposed by United States District Court Judge James Cacheris, was closer to the defense's request of seven years than the sixteen year requested by prosecutors.
Beginning in July 2005, Shew-A-Tjon began soliciting individuals to invest in a range of investment opportunities, including gold, foreign currency, and private placements. Potential investors were told that they could expect an exorbitant rate of return that often ranged from 5% to 18% per month. Based on these representations, Shew-A-Tjon was able to raise over $16 million from approximately 900 investors. Investors were then provided with account statements purporting to show legitimate returns and authenticate the scheme's legitimacy. However, investors were not told that most, if not all, of these "returns" instead consisted of the funds of existing investors. Authorities estimated that the total loss from the scheme, which continued until January 2008, exceeded $8 million.
Shew-A-Tjon's attorney estimated that victims stand to recover approximately $3 million of their losses, or approximately 37.5%.