Judge Sentences St. Louis Man for Wire Fraud – RiverBender.com


ST. ST. LOUIS – United States District Judge Ronnie L. White sentenced John Koeln to 24 months in prison today. The 37-year-old St. Louis, Missouri resident pleaded guilty, in October, to wire fraud.

Koeln was the Director of Finance for Unlimited Prepaid Distribution (UPD) from May 2014 to April 2017. UPD is a wholesaler of prepaid phones, SIM cards, airtime and other cellphone products. Koeln was responsible for day-to-day financial transactions and managing UPD’s bank account. A.A. is the CEO and President of UPD.

On or about May 12, 2015, Koeln opened a bank account at First Bank in the name of Abusharbain Holding, LLC. Koeln was the only person with signatory authority on the

account. He repeatedly made unauthorized transfers of funds from UPD’ s Bank of America business account to the Abusharbain Holding, LLC First Bank account. Koeln

repeatedly made unauthorized transfers of funds from the Abusharbain Holding, LLC First Bank account to his eTrade brokerage accounts. Koeln transferred the stolen funds from

his eTrade brokerage accounts to pay his personal expenses including credit card bills and living expenses. These transfers were not authorized by A.A. or U.P.D.

Specifically, on or about September 5, September 8 and December 7 in 2016, Koeln, for the purpose of committing wire fraud, caused ACH transfers of $50,000 from the Abusharbain Holding, LLC First Bank account in Missouri to his eTrade Bank account ending in 8839 in Virginia.

On or about December 27, 2016 and February 12, 2017, Koeln, for the purpose of committing wire fraud, caused ACH transfers of $80,000 from the Abusharbain Holding, LLC First Bank account in Missouri to his eTrade Bank account ending in 8839 in Virginia.

In March and May, of 2016, Koeln made unauthorized cash withdrawals from the Abusharbain Holding, LLC First Bank account for his own personal benefit. On or about February 2, 2016, Koeln made an unauthorized withdrawal of funds from the Abusharbain Holding, LLC First Bank account to obtain a cashier’s check payable to U.S. Title for his purchase of real estate for his own personal benefit.

On or about May 19, 2016, Koeln made an unauthorized transfer of funds from the Abusharbain Holding, LLC First Bank account to pay his Capitol One loan to purchase a 2015 Buick Enclave.

On or about January 23, 2017, Koeln made an unauthorized transfer of funds from the Abusharbain Holding LLC First Bank account to pay his personal U.S. Bank loan used to purchase a boat and trailer.

On or about March 14, 2017, Koeln made an unauthorized transfer of $99,975 from UPD’s Bank of America account to his eTrade brokerage account ending in 8839.

The loss from Koeln’s fraud was approximately $1,007,031. The Government seized Koeln’s eTrade accounts, vehicles and boats and the proceeds will be used to pay restitution to the victim.

“In addition to bringing criminals to justice, the FBI will diligently search for and seize assets that can be repaid to victims,” said Special Agent in Charge Richard Quinn of the FBI St. Louis Division. “In this case, we are pleased to be able to return a vast majority of the amount embezzled by John Koeln. Unfortunately, most white-collar criminals squander the money they steal leaving little left to repay victims.”

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. First Assistant United States Attorney Carrie Costantin is handling the case.

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