West Linn Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Role in Real Estate, Agriculture, and Mining Investment Schemes | USAO-OR
PORTLAND, Oregon. – A man from West Linn, Oregon was sentenced to federal prison today for posing as a successful real estate developer, cannabis seed breeder, and precious metals mining company owner to fraudulently receive millions of dollars from individual investors and lenders.
David A. Shelofsky, 53, was sentenced to 70 months in federal prison and three years supervised release.
“David Shelofsky has tried all sorts of tricks to lure investors for their money and has unfortunately been quite successful,” said Scott Erik Asphaug, acting US attorney for Oregon. “Federal law enforcement agencies will continue to prosecute and prosecute malicious actors who attempt to steal well-intentioned investors. In the meantime, we strongly encourage people to think twice and do extensive research before pursuing unconventional investment opportunities such as those offered by this defendant. “
“David Shelofsky made great returns on a diverse range of investments including real estate, precious metals and hemp seeds. In reality, his golden guarantees were nothing more than lies. Victim investors – most of whom have Oregon ties – have lost millions while their money funded Shelofsky’s lavish lifestyle, ”said Kieran L. Ramsey, FBI special agent in Oregon.
“IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS: CI) is committed to protecting the public from people like David Shelofsky who shamelessly steal and cheat,” said IRS Special Agent Bret Kressin: CI. “As financial crime ravages communities, we will continue to investigate those who commit these crimes.”
As of 2013, according to court documents, Shelofsky knowingly and intentionally developed several different investment fraud programs in Oregon and elsewhere. Shelofsky falsely told potential investors and lenders that he had successful real estate development projects in Bend, Oregon and West Linn and a successful hemp seed growing and distribution company in West Linn. During the same period, Shelofsky and two other people started a precious metals mining operation that allegedly used a proprietary mining technique to extract precious metals from the sand mountains of other miners. While the group made minimal efforts to operate the company, Shelofsky misled several investors into fraudulently obtaining funds.
Shelofsky repeatedly and deliberately made misrepresentations and false promises about the status and success of his various ventures, the alleged returns investors would receive, and the existence of real estate allegedly sustaining investment. Shelofsky enlisted the services of others to advance his plans and prove his credibility, including an attorney for legal drafting and an assistant for opening bank accounts on behalf of several limited liability companies. Shelofsky used investor money for personal expenses and to ensure his own high standard of living. Dozens of individual investors and lenders lost millions of dollars to Shelofsky’s plans.
June 2020, Shelofsky was charged with wire fraud and money laundering in a criminal complaint. Later, on October 20, 2020, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a 17-point indictment accusing Shelofsky of wire fraud and money laundering. He pleaded guilty on August 26, 2021.
A reparation hearing in U.S. District Court Judge Michael H. Simon is scheduled for January 7, 2022.
This was announced by the acting US attorney Asphaug, the responsible special agent Ramsey and the responsible special agent Kressin.
This case has been investigated by the FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation. U.S. Assistant Attorney Claire M. Fay is pursuing the case. U.S. Assistant Attorney Katie DeVilliers served as legal counsel.