Jail time for 'pathological liar' in scam
WILLIAMSPORT - A Natalie man, described by a judge as a "pathological liar," was sentenced to 10 months in prison on charges he defrauded investors in an investment scheme.
Jason Yuskoski also learned in his federal court appearance Wednesday that he'll serve three years of supervised release, that he must undergo a mental-health examination and that he must pay $179,875 in restitution to his victims, said Heidi Havens, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Greg Williams, 53, of Fort Wayne, Ind., was the victim who first suspected suspicious activities and contacted investigators about Yuskoski, who happens to be his first cousin.
"I don't want to say it's enough, but I'm satisfied with that (sentencing)," Williams said Wednesday evening via phone upon hearing of the court's decision.
Ten months is "probably enough time in a federal penitentiary to help him understand right from wrong," he said.
Williams said he has no desire to make amends with Yuskoski.
"Jason is erased from my life. I don't think anyone has any interest in having a conversation with Jason or welcoming him back. He's burned that bridge. He broke confidence and trust and that relationship," Williams said.
Yuskoski's public defender argued for a lengthy period of probation with some home detention, but Judge John E. Jones III ruled otherwise and offered the pathological liar comment in doing so.
Yuskoski is to report to prison on Monday, Nov. 19.
Investors from 3 states
In January 2011, Yuskoski pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in a case brought by the U.S. Attorney's Office the prior April. The original indictment included five counts, to which Yuskoski had originally pleaded not guilty.
According to the indictment, from around Jan. 1, 2008, through Nov. 1, 2009, Yuskoski devised a scheme to obtain investment money from people looking to invest in security, treasury bills and other commercial paper with the assistance of an investment banker named "David Mark McCormick" or "Mark McCormick."
The investors came not only from the court's jurisdiction in Pennsylvania, but also the Southern District of Ohio and the District of Massachusetts.
The indictment reads that Yuskoski would tell potential investors that McCormick worked as a pharmacist for a local supermarket and that, within a short period of time, substantially increased his wife's inheritance through investing in various securities. Yuskoski would then tell investors that McCormick had taken a leave of absence from the pharmacy to work with a securities investment firm and could take additional clients through Yuskoski.
According to the indictment, Yuskoski would give the investors fax numbers and e-mail addresses for McCormick to contact him, as well as a securities account. The telephone lines and Internet site were situated at Yuskoski's home.
Yuskoski would even arrange for McCormick to meet with or talk on the telephone with the potential investors to reassure them of his background and investment skills, "even though he then knew that the person who spoke or met with potential investors was not 'Mark McCormick' or 'David Mark McCormick' and did not possess the background and skills of that person," the indictment reads.
When an investor would request follow-up contact with McCormick, Yuskoski told them McCormick had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, which required medical treatment, and suggested that Yuskoski participate in future activities. He told investors that their money was invested in treasury bills offered by the government of Germany, but no such documents existed.
In the first count of the indictment, prosecutors allege that Yuskoski did send the investors information that their account had increased in value even though he knew that he had lost money in purchasing or selling securities or had not invested their money, but instead used other money to pay back investors.
On March 19, 2009, Yuskoski initiated a wire transfer of $100,000 from Ohio to a online investment account in which funds were accessed in Northumberland County.
In the other counts of the indictment, Yuskoski was accused of making wire transfers of $65,000 from an account in Ohio and $16,000 from an account in Massachusetts.
Williams, who traded futures and options for a living, said he lost $107,000, was forced to sell his house and a lake house that had been in the family for two generations and find another career because of his dealings with Yuskoski. His mother had lived in the lake house and was forced to move out.
"I'm confident I won't get the money back. That's not going to happen. I have no confidence in Jason's ability to get a job," Williams said.
He agrees with the judge's comment that Yuskoski is a "pathological liar."
"I believe that all the way," he said. "He needs to be punished, and he needs to be helped if he can."