A Virginia man pleaded guilty in a case that involved using digital signature program DocuSign as a tool to bilk investors out of cash he claimed to use for buying and flipping houses for big profits.
Brian Thomas Sapp, 38, raised money from investors, claiming he was buying distressed properties in Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. and would sell them within 90 days with returns as high 25 percent, According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Virginia. Sapp stole the identity of the president of a construction company and used DocuSign to forge digital signatures on fraudulent contracts to prove to investors he was selling houses and making money.
Sapp never actually closed the deals and instead spent investor money on cars and vacations.
“Altogether, Sapp executed hundreds of false real estate transactions to induce victims to part with money,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “In truth, Sapp did not close on deals and used victim money to buy a Mercedes, take golf vacations, and to make lulling payments to investors. Sapp targeted close friends and their family who trusted him.”
GeekWire reached out to DocuSign for comment, and we will update this post if we hear back.
Sapp pleaded guilty to what the U.S. Attorney’s Office called a Ponzi scheme that defrauded 20 investors, mostly friends and family, out of a combined $1.4 million. Sapp faces a minimum sentence of two years in prison for identity theft and a maximum penalty of 20 years on wire fraud charges.