Whitefish Man Found Guilty in International Fraud Scheme

Sean Finn fled to Canada before charges were filed in 2013 but was later arrested and brought back to the United States

By Justin Franz

A 51-year-old Whitefish man has been found guilty in an international fraud scheme that took millions of dollars from duped investors.

Sean Finn was found guilty at the conclusion of a five-day trial of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and securities fraud, four counts of wire fraud and four counts of security fraud. Finn will be sentenced in U.S. District Court in Nevada in May.

According to federal prosecutors, Finn and five other people fooled investors with fictitious investments in the United States and Switzerland. The six people set up a Swiss company called Malom Group AG — which stood for “Make A Lot Of Money” — and asked people to invest between $100,000 and $1 million. Evidence shows that Finn and others then provided fabricated bank documents to investors to show that they were making money. In reality, Finn was using the money for his own personal gain. According to evidence at trial, Finn and his co-conspirators stole upwards of $4 million.

The FBI’s Las Vegas Field Office investigated the fraud nearly a decade ago, but before Finn was charged he fled to Canada. He was later arrested and extradited back to the U.S.

Anthony Brandel and James Warras were found guilty of conspiracy and multiple counts of wire fraud and securities fraud following a jury trial in 2015.  Brandel and Warras were each sentenced to 87 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, on Aug. 3, 2016.  A third defendant, Joseph Micelli, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and securities fraud in 2015 and was sentenced to 60 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, on Feb. 23, 2016.  The other two defendants, Martin Schlaepfer and Hans-Jurg Lips, remain at large outside the United States.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.