Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Mary S. Scriven has sentenced Joseph S. Anile, II (56, Sarasota) to 10 years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud, money laundering, and filing a false income tax return. As part of the sentence, the court also entered a money judgment of $3,283,467, the proceeds of the fraud. Anile was also ordered to forfeit his interest in multiple pieces of real property, including a luxury residence in Sarasota, high-end vehicles, currency, gold coins, and silver bars, which are traceable to proceeds of the fraud.
Anile had pleaded guilty on September 26, 2019.
According to court documents, from November 2011 through April 18, 2019, Anile conspired with others to commit wire fraud and mail fraud. Through false and fraudulent representations and material omissions, the conspirators persuaded at least 700 victims to invest more than $72 million in a foreign exchange market (“FOREX”) fraud known as Oasis International Group. Anile, a licensed attorney, created offshore entities, secured broker-dealer licenses, drafted promissory notes and disclosures, monitored incoming wire transactions, directed outgoing wire transactions and interacted with victim-investors to help carry out the scheme. The conspirators also developed and administered a “back office” operation—a secure website that falsely and fraudulently depicted account balances and earnings—to convince victim-investors that their principal balances were safe and that their investments were performing.
In fact, the conspirators used only a portion of the victim-investors’ funds for FOREX trading, which resulted in catastrophic losses that were concealed. They used the balance of the victim-investors’ funds to make payments toward expenses associated with perpetuating the scheme, and to purchase million-dollar residential properties, high-end vehicles, gold, silver and other liquid assets, to fund a lavish lifestyle for the conspirators, their family members and friends, and for their personal enrichment. Anile used fraud proceeds to purchase other assets, including a Ferrari California T convertible. Anile did not report the victim-investors’ funds he received on his federal income tax returns.
“Make no mistake, white collar criminals absolutely destroy lives. Joseph Anile disgracefully conspired to orchestrate a scheme that ultimately did just that,” stated Special Agent in Charge Brian Payne of IRS Criminal Investigation. “Oasis International not only fraudulently depleted the life savings of its investors, many of them seniors, but also caused their victims and families untold mental anguish, emotional distress, and broken trust. These offenses are most heinous, and we are proud to stand with our law enforcement partners to bring these crooks to task.”
OFR Commissioner Russell C. Weigel, III, said “I thank OFR’s investigators and our partners in law enforcement for their efforts in this case. Criminals who perpetrate these types of financial schemes will be brought to justice, and I appreciate the valuable work of OFR’s team, the FBI, and the IRS in bringing this case to resolution.”
“It’s tough to hear the stories of financial hardship this scheme created. Rest assured, the FBI and its law enforcement partners will never cease to bring to justice heartless fraudsters like Joseph Anile who swindle hard-earned money from honest Americans,” said Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Tampa Division Michael F. McPherson.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation. A related civil action was brought by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which resulted in, among other actions, the appointment of a receiver.
The criminal case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Rachelle DesVaux Bedke. The forfeiture was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Suzanne Nebesky.