A judge in the US state of North Carolina has sentenced a convicted fraudster to more than four years in prison for operating an investment fraud scheme.

Robert Louis Winecoff duped investors into believing they would reap huge profits from letters of credit (L/Cs) and other investment instruments.

Court proceedings

According to court documents, Winecoff banked and spent the money he received from victims and did not invest the money he fraudulently obtained.

Winecoff obtained about US$343,000 from would be investors in less than one year according to court records.

Bogus products were marketed through his company, Winecoff Financial Consulting Group. The company and its representatives promised investors large pay outs in less than a month.

Standby L/C offer

Investors were told that their money would be used as a deposit to obtain a standby L/C and they were assured that this investment was not only profitable, it was also legal, guaranteed, safe and short-term.

The court in North Carolina heard during Winecoff’s trial that investors were told to wire between US$20,000 and US$60,000 to a bank account controlled by him, but he never invested the money or made any payments.

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