mans hands behind bars in jail or prison
© John McAllister / 123RF Stock Photo

The operator of a boiler room that defrauded investors around the world has been handed a 10-year prison term, U.S. authorities report.

Following a conviction for conspiracy to commit securities fraud, wire fraud and money laundering by a jury back in April, Robert Lenard Booth (a.k.a. Trevor Nicholas) was sentenced to 10 years in prison by a federal court in Manhattan. U.S. district judge Jed Rakoff also ordered Booth to serve three years of supervised release, to pay over $2 million in restitution, and to forfeit almost $800,000. All figures are in U.S. dollars.

According to authorities, Booth ran an international boiler room scheme from Thailand and Panama, that involved reps posing as registered brokers from real Wall Street firms, and using high-pressure tactics to pitch investors on discounted stocks.

Some of the victims took out loans and mortgages and drew down their savings. However, authorities said that investors never received any stocks — instead, their funds were laundered through shell company accounts in New York, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

The scheme took at least $2 million from investors between June 2019 and August 2021.

“For years, Robert Lenard Booth and his co-conspirators made fraud their business. They used elaborate paperwork and strategies for emotional manipulation to defraud individual investors, often repeatedly targeting the same victims and sometimes extracting from them their life savings,” U.S. attorney Damian Williams of the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York stated in a release.