June 15, 2024

Trump Driven Sentence Ponzi Schemer. Now He’s Accused Of Frauding Investors, Again

  • Prosecutors say convicted Ponzi schemer who Trump let out of prison defrauded people again.
  • Prosecutors allege that Eliyahu “Eli” Weinstein even confessed to his crime on tape.
  • Trump’s commutation of Weinstein’s sentence was one of his last acts as president.

Former President Donald Trump commuted the sentencing of Eliyahu “Eli” Weinstein as one of his last acts in office, a decision that angered the prosecutor who helped jail Weinstein over a $230 million Ponzi scheme.

Federal prosecutors said Wednesday that shortly after Trump helped release him, Weinstein fostered another scheme. And now, again, Weinstein is facing charges related to defrauding alleged investors.

“We allege that Mr. Weinstein participated in a new scheme to extort investors by concealing his true identity,” Special Commanding James E. Dennehy of the Newark FBI said in a press release. “He knew his actions were against terms of release on a previous investment fraud conviction, and we allege he was involved in criminal activity anyway.”

Trump’s commutation of Weinstein’s sentence led to his release after serving less than eight years of a 24-year sentence. The New York Times followed Trump’s move reflecting the then-President’s approach to pardons and commutations that prioritized those with money, power or connections to Trump and his allies.

Legendary attorney Alan Dershowitz, who represented Trump during his first impeachment, helped convey the arguments made. Lobbyists who had known White House chief of staff Mark Meadows for years were signed up. Representative Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, who had just switched parties to become a Republican, also supported Weinstein’s case. As the Times pointed out, the advocacy allowed Weinstein to cut back on other federal prisoners who went through a Justice Department process that presidents don’t have to follow.

“Does it help if you have money and the right connections?” Barry Wachsler, who paid legal fees related to Mr. Weinstein’s court appeals and pressure for clemency, told the Times. “You know, I guess he does. He sure does.”

One of the prosecutors involved in Weinstein’s conviction immediately registered his opposition to Trump’s decision.

“I’m ashamed,” Gurbir S. Grewal, who was an assistant US attorney on Weinstein’s initial case, write on Twitter. “It’s no surprise that President Trump granted clemency to Eli Weinstein: he’s one huckster commuting another’s sentence.”

Prosecutors allege that it didn’t take long for Weinstein to go back to defrauding investors.

Weinstein partnered with two other individuals who primarily promised friends and family “lucrative opportunities to invest in markets related to COVID-19 masks, scarce baby formula, and first aid kits intended for wartime Ukraine.”

Weinstein eventually admitted more than his true identity, prosecutors say. They claim that he admitted during a meeting in August 2022 that he was back at the things that landed him in prison the first time.

“I finagled, and Ponzied, and I lied to people to cover us up,” Weinstein said on the recording of the meeting, according to prosecutors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *