June 25, 2024

The U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Massachusetts, has shared recent updates regarding an investment scam.

A resident of Watertown admitted guilt for misleading investors in a federal court in Boston. He claimed to be raising capital for high-yield, short-term African sports ventures.

Adrian Kawuba, aged 33, submitted his guilty plea to four wire fraud charges. His sentencing currently stands postponed until March 14, 2024. He was first apprehended and indicted last November, in 2022.

Deceiving investors, Kawuba assured them their funds would be allocated to sports projects in Africa and other international locations. He guaranteed personal backing for these investments. However, none of the funds attained were genuinely invested. Instead, Kawuba allocated the resources for luxury purchases and fabricated returns to his financiers. This deceptive cycle involved using recent investment funds to repay earlier victims. The scam implicated a minimum of 26 sham transactions and fraudulently obtained a staggering sum of over $2.3 million.

He now stands against charges of wire fraud, each leading to a potential sentence of 20 years imprisonment, fines of $250,000 or twice the loss/gain, and supervised release for three years. The sentence, ultimately determined by a federal district court judge, also includes restitution and forfeiture.

Announcing this, the Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy and Jodi Cohen, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Special Agent in Charge for the Boston Division, credited the Watertown Police Department for their assistance. The case is currently being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kriss Basil of Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is wire fraud?

Wire fraud is a federal criminal offense that involves the use of telecommunications or information technology facilities to intentionally defraud someone of their assets or valuables. It covers any fraudulent schemes involving the use of television, radio, email, telephone, or other such modes of communication.

What are the potential punishments for wire fraud?

On the basis of U.S. laws, each count of wire fraud can lead to as much as 20 years of prison time. Additionally, the guilty party may face fines of $250,000 or double the amount of monetary gain or loss caused by the fraud. It can also involve a supervised release period of up to three years.

What does restitution and forfeiture mean in this case?

In the context of this case, restitution refers to the money that the guilty individual (Kawuba) will be obligated to pay back to the victims of the scam, compensating them for their financial losses. Forfeiture, conversely, involves the surrendering of the proceeds, items, or properties obtained through illegal activities.