The United States Attorney’s Office announced on Thursday that Jay Nash of Great Falls pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering during a federal court hearing on Wednesday before U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris.
Nash faces a federal prison sentence of up to 30 years, a $500,000 fine, and restitution of more than $800,000.
According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, in an Offer of Proof, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ryan Weldon and Thomas Bartelson stated the Government would have proved Nash obtained a warranty deed on the property owned by a victim.
The parties entered into a Promissory Note, which outlined that Nash would pay the victim an amount equal to the value of the house. The Promissory Note was secured by a mortgage, which was never filed with Cascade County.
Four months later, Nash took out mortgages on the property totaling more than $180,000. Nash ultimately sold the property and did not give the proceeds of the sale to the victim.
As part of the investigation, agents tracked where Nash spent the victim’s money from the two mortgages and the ultimate sale of the house. Agents discovered that Nash spent the money on boats, furniture, sex toys, his mother’s house, and other unrelated living expenses. None of those expenditures were approved by the victim, nor was the money given for that purpose.
The investigation also revealed three other victims.
Similarly, Nash entered into promissory notes with these additional victims and spent the money on unauthorized purchases, including ATVs, tax payments to the IRS, and a motorhome. In one example, Nash spent over $430,000 of victim money in less than 120 days.
Sentencing is set for September 27 at 10:00 a.m., at the Missouri River Courthouse in Great Falls.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and local law enforcement.