SALT LAKE CITY – Thomas Robbins, 65, of Heber City, Utah, will serve 60 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to securities fraud and money laundering in July. As a part of his plea agreement, Robbins admitted he induced victims to invest more than $10 million in a fraudulent foreign currency day-trading business beginning in 2016 and ending in early 2020. Robbins was sentenced Wednesday.
According to the plea agreement, as a part of his efforts to lull investors into a false sense of security about their investments, Robbins told investors he had achieved high returns in his foreign day-trading business. In fact, Robbins lost millions of dollars and diverted investor money for his personal use and benefit. He solicited approximately 66 investors to invest around $10,170,700.69 in his scheme.
Robbins admitted that he made several fraudulent representations in his communication with investors in the scheme. These representations included telling investors that he had spent 11 years developing an algorithm for foreign currency trading which allowed him to average returns of 5 percent to 30 percent per month, that he had previously worked for a German bank where he was on contract to help the bank develop algorithms for their traders to use, that he used more than 13 different brokerage firms in different countries to facilitate his foreign currency trading program, that he assurred investors that his trading program was compliant with the laws of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, and that people who invested with him would never lose more than 5 percent of the net equity in their trading account due to “stop loss” measures.
Robbins also admitted in the plea agreement that he made these false representations knowing he was not providing a legitimate investment, that he had lost nearly all of the investor money, and that he was using a portion of the investor money on personal living expenses and no significant investment returns were ever generated.
“Thomas Robbins is a classic example of a Utah fraudster. He is a repeat offender who bilks trusting investors out of their hard earned savings while exploiting their trusting nature,” said United States Attorney John W. Huber. “Like-minded swindlers should take note that they are on the radar screen, and we will hold them accountable. For Utah investors, we strongly encourage healthy skepticism and due diligence before parting with your money.”
“We hope this latest sentence will finally send a message to Thomas Robbins and others like him that fraud doesn’t pay,” said Special Agent in Charge Paul Haertel of the Salt Lake City FBI Office. “Financial crimes are not victimless. A scam can devastate innocent people whose life savings are usually never recovered. The FBI and our partners will never turn a blind eye to those who deceive and betray people’s trust out of greed.”
Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the Utah U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted the case. Special agents of the FBI and IRS-Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation.