White-Collar Crime

Lawyer Gets 18 Months in Claimed Scheme to Steal and Sell Corporate Identities

One of two Texas lawyers convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud by a federal jury in Florida concerning a claimed scheme to steal the identities of dormant publicly traded companies has been sentenced to prison time.

Roger Lee Schoss, 68, got 18 months followed by 36 months of home confinement, the Tampa Tribune reports. He must also forfeit $800,000 and is expected to forfeit his home.

U.S. Attorney Robert E. O’Neill of the Middle District of Florida referred to both lawyers as “con artists” in a press release. He said the purchase price of the Shoss home was directly traceable to proceeds of the fraud, according to the newspaper.

Co-defendant and fellow attorney Nicolette Loisel is to be sentenced next month.

The two attorneys were accused of participating in a scheme run by Florida residents in which the lawyers created shell companies using the stolen corporate identities, which were then sold for more than they were worth.

“Multiple wire transfers, totaling at least $800,000, were initiated from the Middle District of Florida to Shoss, in payment for the companies,” O’Neill said in the release. “Shoss, in turn, paid Loisel more than $450,000 for her role in the scheme.”

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement press release and a story in the Tampa Bay Business Journal provide additional details.

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