A federal judge in Chicago has sentenced a U.S. citizen to 14-years in prison for operating a foreign currency trading fraud while living in Panama.
Fifty-one-year-old Jeffery Lowrance was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge Charles Norgle. He also was ordered to pay almost $18 million in restitution.
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Prosecutors say Lowrance fraudulently obtained $31 million from 452 investors by claiming to buy and sell foreign currencies.
He operated his scheme from Panama between 2006 and 2009.
Prosecutors say Lowrance made Ponzi-type payments to some investors but most of them lost money -- about $18 million total. Some investors lost their life savings.
Lowrance fled to Peru in 2009 but was arrested there last year and extradited to Chicago. He pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering in July.