Fort Myers father and son sent to prison
TAMPA, Fla. - A federal judge sentenced a Fort Myers father and son to prison for running a scheme to bilk money from customers of a phony gold investment business.
64-year-old John Henry Fowler received 5 years and ten months in federal prison for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. The son, 35-year-old Jeffrey Robert Fowler received 3 years and one month on a similar charge.
The two men pleaded guilty in September 2012 to an elaborate scheme which saw them set up a phony branch of a real New York based investment firm, Paulson & Company, to invest in gold futures.
Prosecutors say the two and others used the fraud to enrich themselves. The two were ordered to turn over bank accounts, vehicles, property and various electronics traced back to the fraud.
They were also ordered to cough up almost $6 million dollars as part of their punishment. That money will be distributed back to the victims.
The Fowlers started the scheme in December 2010 and it ran through November 2011.