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USAO-EDVA: Stock trading seminar instructors found guilty of wire fraud.
(Alexandria, Va.) – Linda Woolf, age 49, of Draper, Utah, and David Gengler, age 35, of Draper, Utah, were found guilty of conspiracy and wire fraud related to false representations they made to encourage individuals to pay thousands of dollars in stock trading classes.
Dana J. Boente, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Joseph Persichini, Jr., Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office, and Gregory Campbell, Postal Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, made the announcement after the verdict was accepted by United States District Judge Judge Anthony J. Trenga.
Woolf and Gengler were indicted on March 6, 2008, by a federal grand jury on conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and 15 wire fraud charges. During trial, the wire fraud charges were reduced to six – three each for Woolf and Gengler. Today, the jury found both defendants guilty on all counts. Sentencing has been set for July 31, 2009. Woolf and Gengler each face a maximum penalty of 30 years imprisonment.
According to court documents and evidence introduced at trial, Woolf and Gengler spoke at investment seminars around the country, including Northern Virginia. Through infomercials and throughout their three-day presentation, both defendants made a series of false presentations for years to demonstrate to students their success at trading stocks, even though their trading records and tax returns did not back up those claims. Woolf and Gengler made millions of dollars in commissions, which were derived from seminar participants paying approximately $15,000 or higher for additional classes to learn how to become successful stock traders and to have “ trading mentors” – whose trading experience was misrepresented by the defendants – work with the new investors.
This case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the FBI. Assistant United States Attorneys Derek Andreson, Steve Mellin and Jessica Moran prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.