Heber City man sentenced to federal prison after pleading guilty to fraud, money laundering

Photo: Public Domain Pictures

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Dec. 22, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A Heber City man has been sentenced to serve 60 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to securities fraud and money laundering in July.

Thomas Robbins, 65, admitted as part of his plea agreement that he “induced victims to invest more than $10 million in a fraudulent foreign currency day-trading business beginning in 2016 and ending in early 2020,” according to a news release from the Department of Justice District of Utah.

According to the plea agreement, Robbins told investors he had achieved high returns in his foreign day-trading business when, in fact, he lost millions of dollars and diverted investor money for his personal use.

“He solicited approximately 66 investors to invest around $10,170,700.69 in his scheme,” the news release states.

Robbins also admitted to making multiple fraudulent claims, including:

  • Telling investors he had spent 11 years developing an algorithm for foreign currency trading that allowed him to average 5 percent to 30 percent returns per month.
  • That he had previously been on contract with a German bank to help the bank develop algorithms for their traders to use.
  • That he used more than 13 different brokerage firms in different countries to facilitate his foreign currency trading program.

To read the July 2020 DOJ news release listing the various fraudulent claims, click here.

U.S. Attorney John W. Huber referred to Robbins as “a classic example of a Utah fraudster.”

“Like-minded swindlers should take note that they are on the radar screen, and we will hold them accountable,” Huber said. “For Utah investors, we strongly encourage healthy skepticism and due diligence before parting with your money.”

Special Agent in Charge Paul Haertel, of the Salt Lake City FBI Office also commented.

“We hope this latest sentence will finally send a message to Thomas Robbins and others
like him that fraud doesn’t pay,” Haertel said. “Financial crimes are not victimless. A scam can devastate innocent people whose life savings are usually never recovered.

“The FBI and our partners will never turn a blind eye to those who deceive and betray people’s trust out of greed.”

Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the Utah U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted the case. Special
agents of the FBI and IRS-Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation.


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