A former El Dorado Hills man who pleaded guilty to a multimillion-dollar wire fraud involving the supposed sale of precious metal-laden bars was sentenced to more than four years in prison and nearly $3 million in restitution on Aug. 29.
After victims submitted many letters discussing the impacts of Daniel Chartraw’s actions, United States District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. sentenced the 40-year-old man to four years, two months in prison and ordered him to pay $2.8 million in restitution, a press release stated. England said “these are very traumatic crimes” and that the “problem is not only loss of money but also loss of trust.”
According to court documents, between Jan. 1, 2007 and Nov. 31, 2011, Chartraw defrauded numerous investors. He falsely reported on investments in mines, mining and refinery equipment, oil commodities, precious metals concentrate and deposit certificates worth millions of dollars.
Chartraw’s plea agreement states that in one instance he stole $1 million by posing as the owner and manager of a company selling “dore” bars, which contain gold and silver. He would give a tour to investors, limiting their exposure to the true owners of the company in order to avoid detection.
The investors put the $1 million into an escrow account in order to buy the bars. Using a forged letter, Chartraw had the escrow company send the money to accounts he and others controlled.
Investors are estimated to have lost between $2,606,448 to $3,639,448. A companion civil case saw Chartraw’s 2011 Cadillac Escalade seized and sold for $50,500. The proceeds will be given to investors, as their money had bought the car.
The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael D. Anderson. Assistant United States Attorney Kevin C. Khasigian prosecuted the case involving the forfeiture of Chartraw’s assets.
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