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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Former Williamsburg Attorney Sentenced for Role in Defrauding Scheme

Billy J. Seabolt, Jr., a former Williamsburg attorney, has been sentenced to ten years in prison for his role in a nationwide scheme that defrauded retirees in excess of $25 million (Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels)

NORFOLK — A former Williamsburg attorney has been sentenced for his role in a national investment fraud scheme aimed at retirees.

Billy Joe Seabolt, Jr., was sentenced to ten years in prison for his role in a nationwide scheme that defrauded retirees out of an amount in excess of $25 million.

On April 30, 2021, Seabolt was convicted alongside Daryl Bank, a former registered securities broker, and other co-conspirators for their roles in the scheme.

It all started in 2010 when Daryl Bank, then a registered securities broker, was barred from the securities industry by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). However, Bank went on to create a private equity company based out of Virginia Beach, Dominion Private Client Group (Dominion), in order to sell unregistered securities nationwide.

Evidence presented at trial showed that between January 2012 and July 2017, Bank, along with Seabolt and two other co-conspirators, deceived more than 300 unsuspecting investors and stole a significant portion of the investment contributions to fund their criminal activity and Bank’s lavish lifestyle.

Seabolt was hired as Dominion’s legal counsel. He owned his own law firm, Family Wealth Law, with offices in Lynchburg and Williamsburg. The seemingly assumingly lawyer claimed to specialize in financial matters, particularly those pertaining to retirees and the elderly.

The Oklahoma native, husband and father of three’s biography states that he holds an Associate of Arts and a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies and Pastoral Ministries, a Master of Arts in government, a Master of Business Administration, and that he earned his Juris Doctor from Regent University School of Law in Virginia Beach.

According to the since-removed website from Seabolt’s law firm has several alleged client testimonials, commenting on his professionalism, advice, and speaking of how Seabolt “went the extra mile” for his clients.

Along with Bank and two other conspirators, Seabolt was part of a fraud scheme to sell illiquid, highly speculative vehicles through misrepresentation and omissions. They preyed upon unsuspecting and inexperienced investors who were at or near retirement age.

The victims cashed out their 401(k)s and other retirement savings accounts to invest in the fraudulent opportunities that Bank presented to them. As a result of this complex investment fraud scheme, more than 300 victims lost a total in excess of $25 million.

In 2021, Bank and Seabolt went on trial for their roles in the scheme. Bank was convicted of conspiracy, mail and wire fraud, selling unregistered securities, securities fraud, and money laundering.

On April 30, Seabolt was convicted of multiple conspiracy, mail fraud and sale of unregistered securities charges.

On May 25, it was presented to the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board an Affidavit Declaring Consent to Revocation of Seabolt’s license to practice law in the Commonwealth. By submitting this affidavit, the Bar stated that this is an acknowledgement on the part of Seabolt that the material facts in its investigation were true.

“These defendants and their co-conspirators are responsible for orchestrating an extraordinarily series nationwide scheme to defraud hundreds of investors out of over $25 million,” said Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Raj Parekh. “Driven by their voracious greed, the defendants preyed on the elderly and exploited the trust of vulnerable victims by robbing them of their hard-earned retirement funds and lifelong savings meant for their families.”

Seabolt was sentenced on Sept. 15 to ten years in prison.

Bank was convicted on all twenty-seven counts and was sentenced on Monday. Sept. 20 to thirty-five years in prison.

“Bank, Seabolt, and others caused significant financial ruin to hundreds of innocent people by tricking the victims into entrusting them with their retirement funds, under the guise of a promising investment opportunity,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Washington D.C. Field Office Darrell J. Waldon. “While it cannot erase the hardships which these victims endured due to this scheme, we hope today’s sentencing brings some closure to this horrific time in their lives.”

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