January 18, 2020
Waterville Latest News | UMaine College GOP | Bangor Metro | Susan Collins | Today's Paper

Man sentenced in 2002 for 9-year fraud scheme faces more prison time for hiding financial activities

Stock image | Pexels
Stock image | Pexels

A North Anson man with a history of money laundering and fraud faces an additional 32 months in federal prison after he allegedly sold securities without a license, took out a $150,000 loan to buy a home, bought a $2,000 wedding band set without permission from his probation officer and lied about his income.

Gregory Violette, 63, originally was indicted in May 2000 after federal agents uncovered a sophisticated, expansive fraud scheme that lasted nine years and included illegally withdrawing funds from financial institutions in Penobscot, Piscataquis and Kennebec counties.

On Oct. 30, 2002, U.S. District Judge George Singal sentenced Violette to seven years and three months in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to nine counts of making false statements to financial institutions, six counts of mail fraud, three counts of money laundering, and one count each of wire fraud and bankruptcy fraud.

In addition to prison time, the judge sentenced Violette to five years of supervised release and ordered him to pay more than $422,600 in restitution. In a plea agreement with the U.S. attorney’s office, the remaining 70 counts were dismissed.

Beginning in 1989, Violette devised a scheme to use aliases, false Social Security numbers, and false information relating to employment, finances and health to obtain loans from financial institutions, according to court documents. He took out disability insurance policies and later claimed to have disabilities in an effort to have the insurance pay off his debt. He furthered the scheme when he deposited the money he borrowed into bank accounts to use as collateral for further credit.

Violette also stole annuity payments from his former mother-in-law when he forged the woman’s signature on a document that instructed the annuity company to forward the payments to his bank account.

The bankruptcy fraud count stemmed from Violette’s failure to list all of his income in a 1995 bankruptcy filing, according to court documents.

At his original sentencing more than 16 years ago, Violette claimed to have a doctorate in business from a university that advertised degrees for sale on matchbook covers.

Violette first was released from prison after earning some good time and began serving his supervised release in December 2008, according to court documents. He was sent back to prison in March 2014 for 10 months for violating the conditions of his release.

Sixteen months later, Singal sent Violette back to prison for 18 months for failing to pay restitution that then totaled nearly $406,500. The judge also found that Violette had tried to hide assets by transfering money to his wife.

Violette appeared Thursday in federal court in Bangor on a motion to revoke his supervised release for a third time. He was released on a $5,000 unsecured bond with conditions that he make restitution payments, abide by the financial limitations set by his probation officer and have his internet access monitored.

According to the U.S. attorney’s office, Violette still owes more than $320,000 in restitution and an additional $96,400 in interest.

Violette’s attorney, Zachary Brandmeir of Bangor, declined Friday to comment on the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Moore, who is prosecuting the case, also declined to comment. It is the practice of the U.S. attorney’s office not to comment on pending cases.

A final hearing on the revocation of Violette’s supervised release was set for Feb. 21 before Singal.

Have feedback? Want to know more? Send us ideas for follow-up stories.

You may also like