ANCHORAGE (CN) – A federal judge sentenced a Washington man to 10 years in prison Tuesday for defrauding Alaskans of $2.7 million in an advance-fee scheme on investments that did not exist.
Floyd Jay Mann Jr., 56, of Puyallup, Washington, also was ordered to pay full restitution. He pleaded guilty in July to 11 counts of wire fraud and eight counts of money laundering in Alaska. His wife has been convicted of Social Security fraud in Washington.
In imposing sentence, U.S. District Judge Burgess called Mann a “dogged, determined, charlatan” who caused “permanent financial and emotional damage to dozens of people.” He called Mann “sophisticated, devious, and calculating.”
Mann defrauded his victims by telling them he had received a multimillion-dollar settlement from a class-action lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company. He said that if they helped pay his medical bills and lawsuit-related expenses, he would pay them “a substantial return on their money,” after the court released his enormous settlement.
But Mann did not use the victim’s money to pay medical bills, there was no lawsuit settlement, the U.S. attorney said. Mann used the money to gamble at a casino, collecting more than $1 million in jackpots while receiving need-based Social Security benefits.
The scheme started when Mann persuaded an elderly neighbor who had cancer that he too had cancer, to gain his sympathy and trust. The neighbor gave so much money to Mann scheme he lost his house before he died of cancer.
Mann then moved on to the elderly neighbor’s friends and relatives in Dillingham, a remote fishing community 327 miles from Anchorage, accessible only by air or sea. Over six years, he created false court documents and had co-conspirators assist him by pretending to be judges and federal agents to corroborate his fraudulent stories to victims.
During this time, Mann and his wife and son collected $81,000 in need-based Supplemental Security Income benefits.
During this time, Cheryl Mann won $125,000 by gambling at a casino, which disqualified the family from the Social Security assistance. She was sentenced in July to pay $81,000 in restitution and serve three years probation.
“Floyd Mann preyed upon the sick and elderly. He ruined the lives of those who sadly placed their trust in him,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan Wilson said in a statement.