A federal jury on Sept. 12, convicted Jemel Maurice Lyles AKA Michael Anderson, Anthony Alva and Tony Alva, age 35, of Beltsville, Maryland, for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and money laundering, arising from which he fraudulently received $72,00 from a victim after falsely promising to assist the victim to obtain $1 million in financing for a day care center.
According to the court documents and evidence presented at his five-day trial, co-conspirator Stephen Courtney Evans introduced Victim 1 to Lyles, whom he identified as “Michael Anderson.” The victim was looking for capital to finance a day care center. Lyles communicated with the victim by email or telephone under the alias of Michael Anderson, the CFO of Capital Group Holdings. Lyles and Evans falsely represented that CGH was a financial services business and for a fee, could obtain a Standby Letter of Credit (SBLC) for the victim. Lyles agreed to sell the victim a $1 million SLBLC in exchange for a 7.2% fee of the total amount, or $72,000. According to trial testimony,Lyles falsely represented that the victim could use the SBLC as collateral to obtain a non-recourse loan (a loan that the victim would not be required to pay back) from another financial institution.
The evidence showed that Lyles falsely told the victim that Hampstead Private Finance Group Limited (HPFG) would provide he victim with an $800,000 non-recourse loan, using the $1 million SBLC as collateral. According to witness testimony, Lyles communicated with the victim using a purported HPFG email address, which Lyles created to perpetrate the scheme, and the alias “Tony Alva,” the Chief Financial Officer of Hempstead Private Finance Group, which at the time was a defunct entity. Using the Alva alias, Lyles falsely confirmed to the victim that HPFG would accept the $1 million SBLC,which the victim was to obtain from CGH, as collateral on an $800,000 non-recourse loan.
According to the evidence presented at trial, after receiving the victim’s $72,00 fee for the SBLC, Lyles took the money for his personal use, including the purchase of a Land Rover, and a payment of past due rent. Lyles (as Anderson) continued to assure the victim that a $1 million SBLC had been purchased and that the transaction was being processed. Lyles (as Anderson) also falsely told the victim that he would return the victim’s $72,000 fee.
Lyles faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for the conspiracy, and for wire fraud; and a maximum of 10 years in prison for each of the two counts of money laundering.
Co-conspirator Stephen Courtney Evans, age 50, of Manassas, Virginia, previously pleded guilty to his role in the scheme and is scheduled to be sentenced on November 7, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.