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An Excelsior Springs man was sentenced in federal court Wednesday on charges related to several investment schemes in which at least a dozen victims lost more than $3.5 million.
Daniel Meredith, 51, of Excelsior Springs, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes to 11 years in federal prison without parole – the longest penalty recommended under the federal sentencing guidelines. The court also ordered Meredith to pay $3.572 million in restitution to his victims.
The government argued for the 11-year imprisonment because of his career in crime, dating back to 1981.
“Daniel Meredith is a career con-man whose specialty is fast-talking people out of their money with elaborate lies,” federal court papers say. “Despite multiple convictions, he always returns to crime to perpetrate new cons or to put a new twist on one of his old standbys. His victims were his friends and neighbors. He warmly cultivated their trust, and then coldly harvested his profits.”
Meredith pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud and two counts of filing false tax returns Aug. 7, 2012. Meredith admitted that he obtained more than $3.5 million by defrauding at least 12 victims in Missouri and Kansas through various schemes through March 2012, including some friends and neighbors. Five of the victims invested hundreds of thousands of dollars and one victim lost millions of dollars. According to court documents, Meredith cheated one victim out of an additional $28,000 several months after confessing his crimes to federal authorities, while he was negotiating his guilty plea. One victim was forced to file for bankruptcy as a result, according to court documents, and an elderly victim’s life savings was decimated, causing his family severe financial hardship.
Meredith’s fraud schemes included a Bolivian land scheme and fake Scooter’s Coffeehouse franchise agreements. Instead of investing their money as promised, he lost it at the blackjack tables at Ameristar and Isle of Capri. Meredith had an extensive gambling habit. For 2007 alone, Meredith’s losses tracked at Ameristar Casino totaled $76,454. From 2008 through October 2011, his losses totaled an additional $555,863.
He spent the rest on extravagant purchases, including fine horses, lavish trips and a beautiful rental home near Excelsior Springs on acreage with private stables.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel M. Nelson and Missouri Assistant Attorney General Lauren Barrett. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Missouri Attorney General’s Office and the Missouri Department of Revenue, Criminal Tax Investigation Bureau.
– Richmond News Staff