DALLAS (CN) – The 29-year-old operator of an advance fee scam who ripped off hundreds of small businesses was sentenced to 8 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $1.1 million in restitution.
Edward Louis Molz III, of Plano, was pleaded guilty in January to one count of wire fraud.
Under his plea agreement, Molz will forfeit the stuff he bought with his stolen money, including a 2007 BMW 650, a 2005 Maserati and real estate in Irving.
Prosecutors say Molz set up 3rd Street Financial LLC, and using the alias Frank Sullivan held himself out as its chief financial officer.
He pushed the company through a website and a loose association of financial brokers, and told his victims that he had established and maintained “aged” corporations for 4 to 5 years and had access to lines of credit of $250,000 to $400,000.
For $3,250, a sucker could acquire a “Tier 1” corporation with a minimum line of credit of $150,000, Molz said.
For $6,500, they could get a “Tier 2” corporation with a $250,000 minimum line of credit.
So the story went.
Molz said that once he had money in hand, he could deliver the corporation within 9 to 12 weeks, that each “aged” corporation had additional benefits, including established “business trade lines,” a complete financial and business plan, a Dun & Bradstreet listing and 3 years of valid tax returns.
He sent buyers bogus documents, including service agreements, testimonials and letters from financial institutions confirming the lines of credit, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
From November 2009 through May 2010, 247 people mailed or wired money to Molz, which he used “almost exclusively for his personal benefit, including the acquisition of personal assets and real estate.” And he did not deliver the corporations.
He has to pay $1,074,725 in restitution.