MISSOULA, Mont., March 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- On Thursday, March 3, 2022, U.S. District Court Judge Donald Malloy sentenced convicted felon Matthew Marshall to six years in federal prison for the crimes of money laundering and tax evasion, in addition to the crime of defrauding Montana investor Michael Goguen, who was represented by Holland & Hart. Marshall was first indicted on July 22, 2020 and on November 10, 2022, pleaded guilty to crimes committed over a period from 2013 to 2016. These included a confidence scheme wherein he falsely represented himself as a person who had served as an Elite Force Reconnaissance U.S. Marine and high-level CIA Operative to obtain more than $2.3 million which he falsely claimed would fund international anti-terrorism rescue operations around the world. Marshall admitted that the missions were lies and that he converted the illegally obtained funds for his personal use. The sentence also adds three years of supervised release after the prison term ends.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Timothy J. Racicot and Ryan G. Weldon prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation. The full detail of the sentence was published in the Department of Justice Press Release (https://www.justice.gov/usao-mt/pr/whitefish-man-sentenced-six-years-prison-defrauding-montana-investor-23-million-scheme),which includes the following statements:
"Marshall promoted a fantasy world filled with fake missions carried out by fictitious operatives for clandestine agencies in faraway lands for phony purposes. It was all fake, but unfortunately it was paid for with real money from a real victim. And the money never went anywhere except to Marshall's personal accounts," U.S. Attorney Johnson said. "The lengths to which Marshall went to carry off this fraud can hardly be overstated. He used a phone application to send fake text messages; he created false emails; he sent the victim prayer beads collected during a fake mission; and he got a tattoo to falsely signify that he was a member of 'Force Recon,' etc. The list goes on. I want to thank Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tim Racicot and Ryan Weldon, Trial Attorney S. Derek Shugert, National Security Division, U.S. Department of Justice, and the federal agents who poured countless hours into uncovering this scheme and bringing Marshall to justice," U.S. Attorney Johnson added.
"Mr. Marshall devised an elaborate scheme layered in lies to defraud the victim," said Special Agent in Charge Dennis Rice of the Salt Lake City FBI. "Like most fraud cases, Mr. Marshall's motive was simply greed. The FBI's Salt Lake City Field Office would like to acknowledge the many special agents across the country, the intelligence community, and witnesses, who worked together to hold this accomplished fraudster and manipulator accountable and seek justice for the victim."
"Tax evasion and fraud of this magnitude and with this degree of dishonesty and deceit, deserves to be punished. I applaud the investigative efforts of our agents and federal law enforcement partners in uncovering this elaborate scheme and bringing Mr. Marshall to justice," said Andy Tsui, IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge, Denver Field Office. "Today's sentencing serves as a reminder to others that operating outside of the law and failing to pay taxes on income gained through legal or illegal means has severe consequences."
The Federal Prosecutors' sentencing recommendation further details the complex web of Marshall's crimes (https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/21314489-prosecutor-sentencing-memo-usa-v-marshall) including his attempts to intimidate and harm Michael Goguen. As outlined in the U.S. Department of Justice's Sentencing Memorandum, "when the walls closed in, Marshall went on offense, engaging in a scorched-earth assault on the victim's credibility, as well as anyone else who dared to step in his way. He had no qualms about ending people's careers, forging documents, acquiring fake phone numbers and email accounts to send manufactured messages, lying about his background and his mentors or filing false reports with law enforcement agencies if his goals could be achieved and his needs met. There was no end to the falsehoods Marshall told to extract what he wanted and only when confronted with a mountain of irrefutable evidence did he cede any ground."
John Sullivan of Holland & Hart, attorney for Mr. Goguen, commented, "This sentence was the result of multiple years of comprehensive investigation, extensive witness testimony and thousands of documents, and justice has been served for the U.S. taxpayers, the Montana community and Mr. Goguen".
The court has ordered Marshall to pay full restitution of the $2.3MM to Mr. Goguen and nearly $900,000 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.
Holland & Hart
Founded in 1947, Holland & Hart is a full-service Am Law 200 firm with offices in eight states and in Washington, D.C. We deliver integrated legal solutions to regional, national, and international clients of all sizes in a diverse range of industries. For more information, visit www.hollandhart.com or on Twitter: @HollandHart.
SOURCE Holland & Hart