CHICAGO – A Chicago investment manager who defrauded more than $ 10 million from clients and lenders has been sentenced to 17 years in federal prison.
SHAWN BALDWIN owned and controlled various investment firms in Chicago. From 2006 to 2017, Baldwin exaggerated his financial success and professional relationships to fraudulently obtain more than $ 11 million from at least 24 investors and lenders. Baldwin falsely claimed that their funds would be invested in stocks and other investment products, when in reality he spent a large portion of the money for his personal benefit, including jewelry, expenses of schooling and international travel.
Baldwin has also deceived investors and lenders by distorting and downplaying the serious disciplinary action taken against him by regulators. The regulatory measures included the revocation of its certifications with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in 2009 and the permanent ban on offering securities sales or investment advice, imposed by the state of Illinois in 2013.
In 2019, a jury convicted Baldwin, 55, of Olympia Fields, Ill., On seven counts of wire fraud. U.S. District Judge John Robert Blakey handed down the prison sentence Monday after a hearing in federal court in Chicago.
The sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Emmerson Buie, Jr., special agent in charge of the local Chicago office of the FBI.
“The accused inflated his credentials, his investment portfolio and his connections to his victims,” Deputy US prosecutors Matthew Getter, Heidi Manschreck and Michelle Petersen said in the government’s condemnation memorandum. “He convinced friends, acquaintances and even childhood friends to trust him with their money based on his claims that he would invest it on their behalf in certain stocks or businesses. The accused lied to his victims to get their money, making bold and false claims about his plans for their money, what he had done with their money, the value of their investments, the value of his businesses , about his efforts to get their money back, and why he couldn’t give them their money back. The accused moved from victim to victim, using his money to continue to travel in style around the world to maintain a false image of a successful financier to help find new victims and profit from ‘an extravagant lifestyle.