A former resident of El Dorado County, CA, was sentenced in US District Court yesterday to 4 years and 9 months in federal prison on a charge of wire fraud. 40-year-old Daniel Chartraw was originally indicted in May 2012 on 18 counts of wire fraud related to an array of investment scams he perpetrated against dozens of victims. Upwards of 49 victims may have been swindled by Chartraw, who made out with anywhere from $2.6 to $3.6 million in investor funds. Instead of facing trial, he opted for a plea bargain with the US Attorney’s Office in January.
Misusing a strong predilection toward flights of fancy, Chartraw ran a one-stop fraud shop on wheels, peddling his wares to unsophisticated investors. From 2007 to 2011 he was able to carry out a variety of schemes that generally amounted to the following formula:
- a) Chartraw had a fantastic opportunity for expansion in a given enterprise.
- b) If the investor put down a certain amount of cash (usually around $50,000), he could secure a line of credit for hundreds of millions of dollars through shell companies and fake banks operated by Chartraw.
- c) All the investor had to do was wire his money to Chartraw’s bank account, sit back, and let the profits roll in.
Usually representing himself as a multimillionaire businessman heading firms like “Geneva Capital Solutions,” Chartraw put forward an entire range of programs that would appeal to investors, including brokerage of oil contracts, dairy farms and the production of a $350 million movie. Otherwise Chartraw seems to have had a passion for metallurgy and mining. He solicited funds for an imaginary gold refinery, a rock business in Arizona he didn’t own, barrels full of a magical money-generating mineral concoction known as “Concentrate”, and “dore bars” that supposedly contained precious metals.
Chartraw, also arrested for domestic violence in 2011, was apprehended by the FBI while laying low in Mexico upon his indictment a year later.
- Age: 40
- Job: Millionaire Entrepreneur
- Company: Geneva Capital Solutions
- Scam: Mines, Metallurgy
- Ponzi Time: 2007-2011
- Amount of Fraud: $2.6-3.6 Million
- Victims: 49
- Location: El Dorado, CA
- Indictment: 18 Counts of Wire Fraud
- Court: US District Court, Eastern District of CA