Portland man found guilty for wire fraud, money laundering
A Portland man has been sentenced to federal prison after being investigated for multiple fraudulent schemes.
Joseph Galvan, 46, was found guilty of wire fraud and money laundering March 22 and was sentenced to more than three-and-a-half years in federal prison and three years of supervised release.
According to acting U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug in a press release sent by the U.S. Attorney's Office — District of Oregon, Galvan committed two different fraud schemes that resulted in more than $650,000 in losses. He was ordered to pay $658,060.39 in restitution.
"According to court documents, between January 2018 and August 2020, Galvan devised a scheme to defraud his ex-wife's family and friends, most of whom had emigrated to the U.S. from Romania or were of Romanian descent," the press release read. "Galvan posed as a savvy, high-rolling investment trader and promised his victims he would invest their money and help them achieve financial security, retire early and live a good life. He also promised to teach his victims, many of whom were elderly and spoke English as a second language, how to successfully navigate the stock market."
Galvan failed to open the investment accounts and used an app to create fake investment profiles for each of the victims. He managed to acquire more than $518,000 from the victims and used the funds given to him on personal expenses including rent, travel and guns.
Galvan also targeted his own family and friends in a separate scheme. Galvan was said to have purchased a home in Lake Oswego in July 2019 — which later proved to be false — and told the victim of the scheme that he sued the owners who refused to leave after he purchased the house.
"According to Galvan, a court judgment allegedly required the owners to pay him a large settlement that was placed into an escrow account. Galvan falsely claimed the settlement had grown in escrow to $1 million, but that the court would not release the funds until certain conditions with Galvan's bank account were met," the press release read. "Galvan convinced the victim to pay for various fees and costs associated with the house purchase while he awaited the settlement funds. Galvan told the victim he would pay him $250,000 if the victim agreed to provide these funds. Galvan also promised to pay the victim an additional $100,000 every time the victim provided more funds toward house purchase expenses."
The press release said Galvan told the victim to pass the message along to family and friends. Galvan received more than $130,000 from the victim and others who agreed to help.
Last August, Galvan received a 17-count indictment by a federal grand jury in Portland for wire fraud and money laundering for the scheme targeted toward his ex-wife's family, and in November, he was charged with wire fraud by criminal information.
Galvan pleaded guilty in both cases Nov. 23, 2020.
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