PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Portland man who misrepresented himself as a successful investor and defrauded his family and his ex-wife’s relatives out of over $650,000 was sentenced Monday to nearly four years in federal prison after his father helped the FBI find him.
U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman said Joseph David Galvan’s crimes involved “cruelness and callousness” that caused a wide circle of collateral harm, making it more serious than most other similar white-collar fraud cases, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
He ordered that Galvan, 46, be sent to a federal prison “far from the state of Oregon” so he won’t be able to threaten or hurt his family more and that he pay the money back.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Claire M. Fay described Galvan as a “deceitful, abusive, emotional and financial predator.” His illegal Ponzi and bogus escrow schemes lasted from 2018 through last August and affected 18 victims, the prosecutor said.
Though family members transferred their money into an account controlled by Galvan, he failed to open investment accounts on their behalf as promised, according to court records. Galvan used an app to create false investment profile accounts for those who gave him money and would periodically send them phony screenshots of their profiles, the prosecutor said.
Many of his victims had come to the United States from Romania or were of Romanian descent, and others were elderly and spoke English as a second language, the prosecutor said.
Galvan pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering.