Littleton Woman Sentenced to Seven Years in Federal Prison for Oil and Investment Scheme
DENVER – Jill M. Evans, age 51, of Littleton, Colorado, was recently sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge John L. Kane to serve 84 months (7 years) in federal prison for wire fraud and money laundering, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, FBI and Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations announced. Following her prison sentence, Evans was ordered to serve 3 years on supervised release. She was also ordered by Judge Kane to pay $2,094,500 in restitution. Evans was indicted by a federal grand jury on May 21, 2015 and pled guilty on January 23, 2017. She was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals at the end of the hearing.
According to the indictment and plea agreement, in September 2011 and continuing through May 2015, Evans devised a scheme to defraud at least eight individuals whom she solicited to invest in alleged oil transactions. Evans represented to potential investors that she or one of her companies, Paramount Mortgage or Evcom, had a contract with a Russian company to purchase tankers of diesel oil and jet fuel. She claimed that the oil deals could not be completed until certain fees or other expenses related to the deals could be paid.
Evans falsely told investors they would receive a return on their investment ranging from fifty percent to fifty times their original investment within a matter of days or weeks. She told investors that their funds would be held in an escrow account and would be fully refundable if the oil deal did not close. Evans instructed investors to transfer funds to bank accounts. Investors’ funds were not used as represented and were also sent to personal bank accounts that Evans controlled.
Evans told investors that oil deals were nearing successful completion and that disbursements of profits were imminent. She forged e-mails and letters from an attorney at Salans, a major international law firm now merged with Dentons, stating the deal was proceeding and certain steps in the transaction were being completed. She represented that this law firm and Barclays Bank were vetting the deal, when they were not. She created false wire confirmations that she sent to her victims to conceal the disposition of their funds. Evans also sent e-mails attaching fabricated court documents regarding the status of civil litigation purporting to award Evans or related parties substantial sums of money.
Furthermore, Evans concealed from her victims her December 2011 criminal indictment by a State of Colorado grand jury and her subsequent March 2013 criminal conviction for theft and forgery. Evans’s bond conditions prohibited her from entering into any financial transactions in excess of $1,000, and the terms of her subsequent state sentence prohibited her from investing money, entering into any financial contracts or arrangements, and having access to or control of any funds of any individual.
“This is long-term, deliberate, professional stealing,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer. “Luckily for the victims, our prosecutors and the IRS CI and FBI investigators are even more skilled and dogged at rooting out rank theft from innocent victims. And the defendant will have a nice chunk of time to reflect on that.”
“Honest and law abiding citizens are fed up with the likes of those who use deceit and fraud to line their pockets with other people’s money,” said Steven Osborne, IRS-Criminal Investigation, Special Agent in Charge, Denver Field Office. “IRS-Criminal Investigation is proud to bring our forensic accounting skills to this joint venture and help put a stop to this and other types of white collar crime.”
“This sentence sends a strong message to anyone considering deceiving others with fraudulent investment schemes.” said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Calvin Shivers. “The FBI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to protect innocent victims from being preyed upon.”
This case was investigated by IRS – Criminal Investigation and the FBI. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anna K. Edgar and Rebeca Weber.