Con game earns Atlanta man prison term

As posted on April 26, 2010 on www.NorthFulton.com

By Staff Reports

An Atlanta man earned a 7-year prison sentence for his part in a scheme that costs its victims $5 million.

Anthony Tobin, 51, of Atlanta was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Timothy C. Batten Sr. to serve 7 years in federal prison on charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and one count of wire fraud. He was ordered to pay $2.4 million in restitution.

United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, "This defendant stole millions of dollars by preying on the hopes and dreams of people just trying to make a go of their own businesses... This case should serve as a warning to other fraudsters: stealing with your guile rather than a gun still lands you in prison."

According to Yates and information presented in court: Tobin organized a conspiracy to use various Internet networking Web sites to obtain e-mail addresses of potential victims. Tobin, and others he directed, contacted and convinced victims that he was in the business of providing and marketing various sources of venture capital, investment funds and business loans. He then told potential victims that he had access to an investment fund and venture capital through his company's supposed consortium of private investors. Meetings were held with potential victims in Atlanta with the supposed purpose of hearing their business proposals to receive funding from the consortium.

As a precondition for this funding, the victims were required to pay non-refundable advance expenses and fees. Tobin admitted today that, contrary to what he promised victims, he did not have and did not intend to provide to the victims access to loans and investment funds. He kept the fees and transferred them to other accounts he and the co-defendants controlled. More than three dozen victims lost money in the scheme. Losses have now been calculated to be approximately $5 million.

Two other co-defendants were charged in the case. Eyal Dulin, 39, of Snellville remains a fugitive, and Katherine Twigg, 47, of Hoschton is scheduled to be sentenced on May 4 at 2:30 before Judge Batten.

This case was investigated by Special Agents of the United States Secret Service, Postal Inspectors from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the (Georgia) Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Bernita B. Malloy and Robert C. McBurney prosecuted the case.