Jonathan Flom, an attorney licensed in three states, was sentenced to 48 months’ imprisonment and three years’ supervised release for money laundering. Today’s sentencing took place before United States District Judge Roslynn R. Mauskopf at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, New York.
The sentence was announced by Bridget M. Rohde, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI).
“Attorney Jonathan Flom took advantage of the trust placed in him by virtue of his profession to make easy money for himself,” stated Acting United States Attorney Rohde. “Such abuse of trust will be appropriately punished.”
“Flom preyed on the vulnerabilities of victims who were already being cheated out of money, falsely representing himself as someone who was working in their favor,” Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney stated. “He further tried to exploit his role as an attorney to conceal the fraud, but in the end the joke was on him, when it was revealed that an undercover FBI agent had been keeping tabs on his scheme. Today’s sentencing serves as a fine example of how the FBI successfully brings these scams to light.”
On June 24, 2016, following a five-day trial, a federal jury convicted Flom of money laundering. According to previous court filings and the testimony at trial, between December 2013 and April 2014, Flom accepted $141,300 into his bank account from investors whom he believed to be the victims of a securities fraud scheme. He then funneled those monies to a man he believed was orchestrating the fraud scheme, but who in fact was an undercover agent with the FBI—while keeping a 5% fee for himself. At trial, the jury heard that recorded conversations between Flom and the undercover agent in which Flom bragged that the letters of his name stood for “For Love of Money” and provided advice to the undercover agent about how they could use the guise of attorney-client privilege to conceal the fraud from law enforcement.
At trial and at sentencing, the government also presented evidence that between approximately February 2012 and August 2013, Flom knowingly laundered $756,168 in a nearly identical securities fraud scheme with Cecil Franklin Speight. In this scheme, investor-victims who believed they were making legitimate stock purchases were instructed to send money to bank accounts belonging to Flom, knowing he was a lawyer and believing that he was going to transfer funds to the issuers of the securities. In fact, Flom took the investor-victims’ money, kept a percentage for himself and sent the remainder to Speight. The investor-victims received only worthless counterfeit stock certificates.
On February 12, 2016, Speight was sentenced to 42 months’ imprisonment and ordered to pay $3.3 million dollars in restitution following his guilty plea to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and securities fraud.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Keith D. Edelman, Moira Kim Penza and Jack Dennehy.