Scammer Lawrence Schmidt Extradited to the U.S. to face investment fraud charges

uBiome founders face fraud charges

Scammer Lawrence Schmidt, the chief executive of Commercial Equity Partners, FutureGen Company, and other investment entities has been extradited from the United Kingdom. He will stand trial on criminal charges including bank fraud and money laundering related to the investment fraud scheme he committed between 2008 and 2014. The trial on his case will be held in the District of Columbia (DC).

According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Schmidt appeared on Tuesday in the DC federal court, where he was indicted in 2018. He is facing two counts of bank fraud, two counts of wire fraud, and six counts of engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity.

Schmidt allegedly defrauded more than $22 million from approximately 200 investors across the United States and in other countries between 2008 and 2014.  He used his investment companies to operate a Ponzi scheme, in which he used new investor fund to pay earlier investors and himself.

The DOJ alleged that the defendant put less than $11 million into investment products, and paid himself around $1.4 million in salary. He also used $1.3 million for personal benefits such as vehicle expenses, mortgage and rent payments for multiple residences, and sports ticket purchases.