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Alton man sentenced to federal prison for investment scheme

Alton man sentenced to federal prison for investment scheme

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SIOUX CITY -- An Alton, Iowa, man who cost dozens of investors more than half a million dollars in losses in a fraudulent investment scheme was sentenced to federal prison Wednesday.

In addition to serving a 10-month prison sentence, Lon Friedrichsen must pay $573,088 in restitution to his victims and forfeit $71,432 in traceable proceeds from his criminal conduct.

Friedrichsen, 61, pleaded guilty in November in U.S. District Court in Sioux City to one count of wire fraud.

Friedrichsen posed as a crude oil futures trader while soliciting investors on Craigslist, an online classified advertising site, from about June 2014 through March 2018. With an agreement of sharing 50 percent of their profits with Friedrichsen, investors created accounts and deposited thousands of dollars in them, providing Friedrichsen with login credentials so he could access the accounts and trade on behalf of the investors.

Approximately 40 investors lost money as a result of Friedrichsen's actions.

In the online ads, Friedrichsen fraudulently claimed he had 30 years of trading experience and had previously worked on Wall Street and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. His advertisements boasted that he was generating 10 percent returns on investments daily.

Friedrichsen used several aliases and email addresses while communicating with investors in order to conceal his identity and, after incurring massive losses for his investors, he disappeared and refused to communicate with them, court documents said. 

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