Vienna Man Guilty of Wire Fraud

Vienna Man Guilty of Wire Fraud

Bilked investment clients out of more than $1 million.

A Vienna man is facing possible decades in prison after pleading guilty last week in federal court to defrauding clients that he advised about financial investments. He is Ismail Elmas, 49.

He entered his plea last Tuesday, Oct. 21, in the U.S. District Court in Alexandria. He admitted to defrauding more than 10 of his clients – many of whom were senior citizens and widows – out of more than $1 million in funds they entrusted to him to invest on their behalf.

In a statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Elmas acknowledged that he’d worked as an investment adviser at Apple Financial Services during the time of his offense. He was also registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority as an investment adviser.

In addition, he owned and operated a bank account in the name of “I.E. Financial Solutions.” From at least 2012 through in or around August 2014, Elmas misappropriated client funds given to him for legitimate investments in his capacity as an investment adviser, and he used those funds for his own purposes by way of his I.E. Financial Solutions bank account at NFCU.

Authorities said he misappropriated these client funds in different ways. For example, he purposely withheld the fact that I.E. Financial Solutions was his own bank account, never telling his clients they were, in effect, giving their money to him for his own, personal use.

Sometimes, Elmas falsely described I.E. Financial Solutions to clients as a particular investment vehicle, such as a Certificate of Deposit or a Real Estate Investment Trust. At other times, he simply transferred the funds to his I.E. Financial Solutions account without telling his clients the truth about what he was really doing with their money.

Now convicted of wire fraud, Elmas faces as much as 20 years in prison when he returns to court Jan. 16, 2015, for sentencing before U.S. District Court Judge Anthony Trenga. This case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Chad Golder.