Kansas Man Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Engaging in $900,000 Foreign Currency Ponzi Scheme

2 mins read

NEWARK, N.J. – A Kansas man who executed an elaborate foreign currency Ponzi scheme that took in more than $900,000 from investors was sentenced today to 36 months in prison, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael Honig announced.

Thomas Lanzana, 54, of Wichita, Kansas, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez to Count One of an indictment charging him with wire fraud. Judge Vazquez imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Lanzana fraudulently solicited approximately $900,000 from at least 20 customers to invest in what he claimed were highly successful, algorithm-based trading pools in foreign currency derivatives (“forex”) and other financial instruments.

Breaking News
Six Individuals from Phenix City Indicted on Federal Drug Charges

To maintain the victims’ trust, Lanzana sent false account statements to his customers, posted false monthly account statements to his companies’ websites showing balances and trading activity for forex trading accounts that did not exist, and generated and sent false tax documents to customers reporting earnings that did not exist.

Lanzana misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars in investor funds, using some to repay earlier investors in the manner of a Ponzi scheme, and to pay for his personal expenses, including purchases on Amazon.com, payments to a luxury car dealer and a jewelry retailer, and golf expenses.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Vazquez sentenced Lanzana to three years of supervised release. 

Breaking News
Ohio Man Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Distribution of Child Pornography

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr., and special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Montanez in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing. She also thanked the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Enforcement for its assistance.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony P. Torntore of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Cybercrime Unit.

DOJ Equal Employment Opportunity Policy


EOUSA/USAO Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

Civil Rights Enforcement


Learn More

The Right Prescription

Breaking News
British Man Charged with Attempted Online Enticement of Minor and Travel with the Intent to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct

Take The Right Prescription for New Jersey

Email & Telephone Scam Alert

Be Wary Of Scams In Which People Posing As Law Enforcement Officers Attempt To Solicit Funds.