West Linn swindler gets prison for stealing millions

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A West Linn man who posed as a successful businessman and swindled millions of dollars from victims has been sentenced to nearly six years in federal prison, Department of Justice officials said Wednesday.

According to the U.S. attorney’s office in Oregon, 53-year-old David Shelofsky conned investors out of money while posing as a real estate mogul, hemp seed cultivator and the owner of a precious metals mining venture.

Officials said that as far back as 2013, Shelofsky lied to prospective investors across Oregon. He claimed he had successful properties in Bend and a hemp seed cultivation and distribution venture in West Linn. Shelofsky and two others formed a precious metals mining operation, officials said, but made minimal efforts to develop the venture and misled several investors during that time.

“David Shelofsky promised big returns on an eclectic array of investments, including real estate, precious metals, and hemp seed,” said Kieran Ramsey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “In reality, his golden guarantees were nothing more than lies. Victim investors — most of whom have ties to Oregon — lost millions while their money funded Shelofsky’s lavish lifestyle.”

Scott Asphaug, the acting U.S. attorney in Oregon, said Shelofsky “tried nearly every possible ploy to trick investors out of their money, and, unfortunately, was quite successful in doing so.”

Shelofsky was charged with wire fraud and money laundering on June 5, 2020. On Oct. 20, 2020, a federal grand jury leveled a 17-count indictment against Shelofsky. He later pleaded guilty on Aug. 26.

He has been sentenced to 70 months in federal prison with three years of supervised release.

Justice Department officials said a restitution hearing is set for Jan. 7.

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