“West Michigan is not a safe zone for fraudsters,” commented U.S. Attorney Birge. “Mr. Buckhannon brought his scheming ways here and now he’s headed to prison.”
Judge Neff’s sentence reflected in part that Buckhannon had previously been convicted of a wire fraud conspiracy in Nevada for his role in defrauding investors in connection with a hedge fund called the Vestium Equity Fund in which he was ordered to pay $239,686.19 in restitution to those victims. He is serving a three-year probationary sentence for that offense. The Court noted the need for punishment and specific deterrence given Buckhannon’s prior fraudulent conduct and other criminal history.
Buckhannon’s co-defendant, Kelly Flees, previously was sentenced by Judge Neff to serve one year on federal probation and to pay $30,654.42 in restitution for her role in the offense. Ms. Flees was convicted of misprision of a felony (having knowledge of Buckhannon’s felony offense, failing to report it to law enforcement, and taking an affirmative step to conceal the crime).
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