NH man gets 2 years in prison for mineral water investment scam
A Nashua man convicted of fraud surrounding a bogus plan to sell mineral water was sentenced this week to two years in prison.
According to the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney's Office, Edmond P. LaFrance, 70, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani to two years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, six months of which will be served in community confinement, restitution of $387,802 and forfeiture of $387,802.
LaFrance pleaded guilty in March to two counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering.
According to the U.S. Attorney, from 2012-13, LaFrance solicited investments and loans for a shell company he created, Natural Waters, that fraudulently claimed to buy and sell mineral water in bulk. In fact, there were no mineral water sales and a large portion of the investor money LaFrance received was directed to his own uses or transferred to co-conspirators.
In 2015, LaFrance laundered money for various online fraud schemes being perpetrated by individuals located primarily outside of the U.S. LaFrance accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars from victims he did not know, and with whom he had no business relationship, and wired the money to third parties whose true identities were concealed from the victims.
In 1990, LaFrance was convicted in federal court of structuring currency transactions, making false statements and conspiring to defraud the United States. In 2007, he was convicted of wire fraud and making false statements.