A Las Vegas resident who served in the U.S. Marines Corps, was convicted by a federal jury on March 16 in the District of Nevada of multiple fraud charges after an eight-day trial, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.
Anton Paul Drago, formerly known as Evan Fogarty, 65, was convicted on all 10 counts of the indictment.
The jury found him guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, two counts of wire fraud, three counts of submitting false claims to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, one count of theft of government funds, one count of passing a fictitious financial instrument, one count of making false statements to federal agents and one count of failing to file a federal income tax return.
The evidence presented at trial established that Drago orchestrated a large-scale Nigerian oil investment fraud scheme.
From at least 2004 through 2012, Drago told investors that money they invested would be used for legal fees and business expenses to fund the production, refinement and shipment of crude oil from Nigeria to the Bahamas.
Along with co-conspirator Joseph Rizzuti, formerly of Palm City, Florida, Drago also told investors that the money they invested would fund the purchase of an oil refinery in the Bahamas.
Drago lied to investors about his background, falsely claiming that he was an engineer and an expert in the oil industry with over 30 years of experience working worldwide.
He also falsely told some investors that he was the grandson of the Shell Oil founder and heir to a $500 million trust that he had already spent on the Nigerian oil investment deal. None of these claims were true.
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