Former Princeton resident indicted for allegedly stealing money from investors

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A former Princeton resident has been charged with fraud and related violations for allegedly stealing millions of dollars from individuals and institutions, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of New Jersey.

Ford Graham, 60, was charged with 14 counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of securities fraud, three counts of aggravated identity theft, nine counts of money laundering and one count of engaging in unlawful money transactions, U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger said.

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“This defendant used multiple schemes to steal millions of dollars from victims. The indictment (outlines) the different strategies he allegedly employed to dupe third parties into giving him their hard earned money,” Sellinger said.

From December 2012 to September 2013, Graham claimed to be the owner, chief executive, chairman, manager and/or principal member of dozens of corporations that purported to do business under Vulcan Capital Corp., according to the criminal complaint and statements made in court.

Graham claimed to be a highly successful financier, with vast experience sponsoring complex energy and natural resource projects and other investment deals. One victim invested more than $2 million with Graham, based on his assertions.

Instead of investing the money, Graham allegedly used some of the victim’s money to pay for his children’s private school tuition, international vacations and other personal purposes.

Between December 2017 and February 2018, Graham allegedly defrauded merchant processing institutions through fraudulent credit card transactions. He allegedly used one payment processing platform to process fraudulent charges on stolen credit card numbers.

After the payment processing platform credited Graham’s account with the payments, he transferred the money to other accounts before the victimized institutions could act. When they asked for supporting documentation, he allegedly submitted false documentation.

From February 2017 to June 2018, he allegedly conspired with others to defraud individuals and institutions of millions of dollars through a business email compromise scheme. Fraudulent email communications were sent to victims who were scheduled to make wire transfers to third parties.

The fraudulent emails created the appearance of having been sent by the intended third-party recipients of the scheduled payments, but in fact they had been sent by conspiracy members. The scheme attempted to defraud multiple victims of more than $6 million.

The emails directed the victims to send the scheduled payments to various bank accounts that Graham controlled. He allegedly transferred substantial portions of those funds to other accounts that he controlled and used for his personal benefit.

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