September 16, 2010
Sales Agent For A&O Entities in Richmond Pleads Guilty to Misleading Investors
RICHMOND, Va. – Tomme Bromseth, 68, of Blackstone, Va., pleaded guilty today to mail fraud and structuring financial transactions to evade reporting requirements in conjunction with his role as a sales agent for A&O Life Funds and various related A&O entities.
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Neil H. MacBride and Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States Magistrate Judge Dennis W. Dohnal.
Bromseth waived indictment and pleaded guilty to a criminal information alleging one count of mail fraud and and one count of structuring financial transactions to evade reporting requirements. Bromseth faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for the mail fraud charge and a maximum term of five years in prison for the structuring charge.
According to court documents, Bromseth admitted to making misrepresentations about the risks associated with A&O investments, as well as his qualifications to sell such investments. Bromseth sold over $3 million in A&O products to 15 investors between July 2006 and November 2007.
This continuing investigation is being conducted by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Internal Revenue Service, and FBI, with significant assistance from the Texas State Securities Board. These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael S. Dry and Jessica Aber Brumberg from the Eastern District of Virginia and Trial Attorney Albert B. Stieglitz Jr., of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.
The investigation has been coordinated by the Virginia Financial and Securities Fraud Task Force, an unprecedented partnership between criminal investigators and civil regulators to investigate and prosecute complex financial fraud cases in the nation and in Virginia. The task force is an investigative arm of the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, an interagency national task force.
President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.