Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay lawyer gets 10 years for international investment scheme

TAMPA — A Tampa Bay area lawyer who helped perpetrate a multimillion-dollar investment fraud has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.

Lawrence S. Hartman was the last of several defendants to be sentenced in the case, which began in 2009. He pleaded guilty in November before U.S. District Judge Mary S. Scriven to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and was sentenced Tuesday.

Hartman, 48, helped orchestrate a scheme involving the sale of worthless stock in defunct corporations to investors.

Paul Robert Gunter of Odessa and Simon Andrew Odoni, originally from the United Kingdom, led a team that hijacked the identities of 54 publicly traded companies and sold bogus stocks to mostly retired and semi-retired investors in Ireland and the United Kingdom, prosecutors said.

Victims received unsolicited phone calls from people offering to sell shares in companies with little to no risk, "almost guaranteed to increase significantly," court documents said.

Authorities said the calls appeared to be made from "boiler rooms" based in Spain, which were linked to Gunter after investigators reviewed his laptop and computer software.

The victim investors wired more than $127 million to Gunter's bank accounts, which Hartman and others used for their enrichment, prosecutors said.

Hartman was arrested and deported from Nicaragua in May.

In addition to his prison sentence, Hartman was ordered to forfeit his interest in his residence in Costa Rica, a parcel of land in Pasco County, several offshore entities, several foreign and domestic bank accounts, a 2009 Jaguar XKR and a 2010 Genesis LX150ST‑3, three luxury watches and more than $129,500 from the sale of a condominium. The court also imposed a judgment of $42.5 million.

Gunter and Odoni were convicted of multiple criminal offenses last year following a 19‑day jury trial. In July, Gunter was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison. Odoni was sentenced to 13 years and three months.

Tampa Bay lawyer gets 10 years for international investment scheme 04/02/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 2, 2014 7:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs' Doug Martin relying on strength from drug rehab to power his return

    Bucs

    TAMPA — He would not talk about the drug he abused. He would not identify the rehab facility he entered in January or how long he was there.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin participates in an "open OTA practice" at One Buc Place, the team's training facility, in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
  2. NCAA: Former USF basketball assistant gave improper benefits

    Colleges

    TAMPA — Former USF men's basketball assistant coach Oliver Antigua provided impermissible benefits, including lodging at his home, for two prospective student-athletes while they received on-campus tutoring, according to findings reported to the school by the NCAA.

  3. Assault charge may not sway voters in Montana election (w/video)

    Nation

    BOZEMAN, Mont. — Republican multimillionaire Greg Gianforte won Montana's only U.S. House seat on Thursday despite being charged a day earlier with assault after witnesses said he grabbed a reporter by the neck and threw him to the ground.

    People fill out ballots for the special election to fill Montana's only U.S. House seat at the Montana Pavilion at MetraPark on Thursday in Billings, Mont. [Associated Press]
  4. Quiet college dropout turned bomber: Who was Salman Abedi?

    World

    LONDON — He was quiet and withdrawn, a college dropout who liked soccer — and, some say, showed alarming signs of being radicalized years before he walked into a pop concert at Britain's Manchester Arena and detonated a powerful bomb, killing himself and 22 others.

    Salman Abedi was identified by British authorities as the man behind Monday’s attack.
  5. Soldiers launch attacks in besieged Philippine city

    World

    MARAWI, Philippines — Backed by tanks and rocket-firing helicopters, Philippine troops launched "precision attacks" Thursday to clear extremists linked to the Islamic State group from a city that has been under siege since a raid that failed to capture one of Asia's most-wanted militants.

    Soldiers fire at enemy positions Thursday while trying to clear the city of Marawi, Philippines, of armed militants.