Michael Frank Burgess,69, Alpharetta, Georgia, was sentenced byChief U.S. District Judge Anne C. Conway to 15 years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering in connection with a real estate fraud scheme.
The court also ordered Burgess to serve 3 years on supervised release and pay over $94 million in restitution to his victims. Burgess pled guilty on May 4, 2011.
According to court documents, Burgess was the manager of Prosperity International (Prosperity), a company that claimed to be in the business of development and funding for large real estate projects. Prosperity claimed years of experience in both the domestic and international markets. The company’s web-site boasted many successful projects in which it had secured millions of dollars of funding. Those representations were not true. Relying on those misrepresentations and others, victims provided Burgess with millions of dollars in fees to obtain funding for their projects. He did not obtain funding for any of the victims’ projects.
This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg.
U.S. Attorney Robert E. O’Neill announced the sentence.