Austin Man Sentenced for Hotel Investment Fraud Scheme

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

AUSTIN – Today an Austin man was sentenced to 70 months in prison and ordered to pay $5,052,366.92 in restitution for his role in a fraud scheme.

According to court documents, from 2012 until June 2018, Jason Michael Schubert, 47, devised a scheme to bilk hotel investors out of millions of dollars.  Schubert identified potential investors by conducting seminars on how to make money from investing in hotel properties, known as “Rich in Five” seminars, charging the participants substantial fees to attend.  Schubert then solicited money from the participants for investing in preexisting hotel properties that he would manage and operate while claiming that investors would profit with little effort on their part. 

However, many of the hotels were older and in substantial disrepair.  Although Schubert had no hotel management experience, he represented that investor funds would be used to renovate the hotels. Instead, he misappropriated the money by paying himself significant “management fees.”  Schubert’s fraudulent activities depleted investor funds, causing the hotel properties to go into foreclosure with a loss of over $5 million to investors.

On December 2, 2020, Schubert pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of engaging in a monetary transaction involving criminally derived property. 

“This defendant engaged in a complex fraud involving commercial real estate, moving funds among numerous bank accounts, and making many false promises to well-intentioned investors,” said United States Attorney Ashley C. Hoff.  “Like so many other fraud schemes, this scheme was designed to line the defendant’s own pockets with other people’s hard-earned money.  Now that his scheme has been dismantled, we are confident that the prosecution and sentencing of this defendant will bring a measure of justice to his victims.” 

“This is a clear case of a criminal taking advantage of investors by misappropriating their life savings for his own financial gain,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Oliver E. Rich. “The FBI will continue its vigorous pursuit of those who commit these types of fraudulent schemes to hold them accountable for their actions.”

This case was investigated by the FBI, with assistance from Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations, the Texas State Securities Board, and the Texas Department of Insurance. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Devlin prosecuted the case.

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