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Former Westminster resident gets 10 years for $2 million scheme

A former Westminster resident who stole nearly $2 million from clients as part of an investment fraud scheme, was sentenced to 10 years in prison Monday.

Jasper Buck, 60, most recently of Florida, was also ordered to forfeit $1.96 million — the amount he obtained from his victims — and to pay $1.26 million in restitution, according to a news release from the U.S. District Attorney's Office in Baltimore announcing sentencing.

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U.S. District Judge George L. Russell III also sentenced Buck to three years supervised release following the completion of his prison term.

Buck was indicted in January 2015 for mail fraud and pleaded guilty to the charge in June.

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Buck worked for mortgage companies but convinced investors he was an experienced adviser through Portfolio Financial Group, according to the release. Buck was a signatory for PFG and the company's addresses were listed as Buck's personal address or shipping and packaging stores, but he told investors there were other owners and employees, according to the release.

Between October 2006 and December 2014, Buck told victims PFG would loan money the would-be victims provided to borrowers who needed the funds quickly and were willing to pay high interest rates because they couldn't get traditional bank loans, according to the release. Some victims were persuaded to refinance their home mortgages and use lines of credit to get money to invest with Buck. He, in turn, promised they would receive a monthly return on their investments, according to the release.

Buck instead used the funds for his personal use or to further his scheme, according to the release.

Buck used some of the money provided to pay other victims in order to convince them that their investments were paying off, according to the release. He also made telephone calls, and sent text messages and emails to victims making false statements regarding purported investments, to lull the victims into believing that their loan principal was safe and that their purported investments were sound, the release states.

In January 2014, Buck exhausted all of the victims' funds and made various misrepresentations about the state of the company, including that PFG was updating software, was slowed by new federal regulations or was being sold to another company, according to the release.

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