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Favorable Sentence for Ponzi Scheme Defendant

In United States v. Gillis, the Firm represented the lead defendant, Joel Gillis, who was charged with operating one of the largest Ponzi schemes in Southern California history.  After receiving nearly $300 million in investor proceeds through his company, Nationwide Automated Systems, Inc. (NASI), Mr. Gillis retained the Firm to handle sentencing issues.  The charged scheme alleged that Mr. Gillis had falsely told investors their money would be used for automated teller machines (ATM’s) that would generate at least a 20 percent profit annually.  The government sought a 20-year sentence pursuant to the United States Sentencing Guidelines, but the Court imposed half that sentence after crediting the Firm’s presentation of issues as the basis for imposing this remarkable departure from the sentence that would otherwise have been required by law.