Small businesses, elderly investors, a church group and the Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association were among the victims of a scheme that paid for the sex addiction of a Broward County certified public accountant, the Sun-Sentinal reported.
Thomas E. Sewell was sentenced Monday in Fort Lauderdale by U.S. District Court Judge James Cohn to more than three years in prison and ordered to make $7 million in restitution.
Sewell pleaded guilty in June to conspiring to commit mail fraud, after facing charges he convincing his accounting customers to invest in the bogus Landmark Investment Trust and covering up the commissions he made by filing phony tax returns, the Sun-Sentinal reported.
Hundreds of investors bought into the scheme, which was headed by Myles Farrington, who was sentenced to 54 months in prison earlier this year for his role in the scheme. Investors believed their money would be safe in mutual funds and other investments. Instead, Farrington spent his take on luxury items.
Sewell admitted he tricked people into investing in the offshore investment scheme and used more than $100,000 of his proceeds to pay for lap dances and call girls, hiding the activities from his first and second wives, court documents confirmed.
Sewell and his attorney, speaking at Friday's sentencing, told the court he was a sex addict with "an insatiable need for cash to fulfill his illness."
"This is not a pretty picture, but it is accurate and sad," Sewell's attorney Joel Hirschhorn wrote. The sex addiction drove Sewell "to moral and ethical bankruptcy," the lawyer argued. "Cash became his God."