PA Man Accused of Conning Investors in Sports Betting Fraud

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Elijah A Goshert, age 47, was indicted on November 15, 2023, on three counts of wire fraud. The Pennsylvania resident has been accused of defrauding investors in a sports betting fund over the course of five years.

Goshert was arrested in Pennsylvania on February 28, 2024, and was indicted in St. Louis, Missouri, pleading not guilty on all charges, according to the United States Attorney’s office.

Throughout the five years, ten victims claim to have lost over $500,000 each. Here’s a look at the alleged scheme:

A Fake Sports Betting Fund, Lying to Investors

According to the indictment, Goshert, whose day job is in telecommunications, told inventors that he ran an investment fund called Magellan Sports Fund. He explained to investors that the fund used a “sophisticated computer algorithm” to place sports bets. Goshert told investors that by using this algorithm, it substantially reduced the risk of investing, making it feel like a safe place to put their money.

Additionally, he promised investors it would not make money unless the bets turned a profit. This concept attracted various investors who trusted the scheme.

However, according to the indictment, Goshert was actually using investors’ money for his own personal expenses. These expenses included private school tuition, Disney vacations, and mortgage payments.

Goshert would even send fraudulent “updates” and account statements to investors, lying to them when they attempted to withdraw cash or inquire about the account’s performance.

A Harsh Reality, If Convicted

If convicted, Goshert could be looking at a lengthy prison sentence and hefty fines. Each wire fraud charge carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or possibly a combination of the two.

According to the official report, Assistant U.S. Attorney Derek Wiseman is prosecuting this case and the FBI conducted the investigation.

Is This the Future of Fraud?

This unfortunate case of fraud should serve as a wake-up call to investors and sports bettors. In this case, sports betting was the means to an end for Goshert to rob investors. It’s a shame to see a growing, well-loved industry be used to deceive investors and steal their hard-earned money.

As the sports betting and iGaming industry continue to expand, and fraud scams are getting more creative, you begin to wonder if we will see more stories like this. Let this be a reminder to never invest in unauthorized and unsanctioned investment funds.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and the Pennsylvania Lottery exist to help combat this very situation. Rules, regulations, and licensing are all in place to help protect users of online sports books and casinos.

The Pennsylvania lottery website details how users must be on the lookout for new and emerging schemes and fraudulent activity. Some of the warnings include the following:

– Never accept a call from anyone claiming to be a Lottery official.

Be very cautious about sharing credit card and bank account numbers with third parties. Use common sense.

– Never purchase Lottery tickets from foreign lotteries by phone, internet, or by mail. The sale and trafficking of foreign lottery tickets is a violation of federal law, including laws prohibiting the importing and transmitting of lottery materials or information in interstate or foreign commerce.

If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is! Be wary of anyone trying to lure you into an investing club or sports betting club.

If you think you’ve been a victim of an Internet fraud scheme, you can file a complaint online with the Internet Crime Complaint Center, of which the FBI is a part, www.ic3.gov.

Victims of telemarketing fraud should contact the Federal Trade Commission, toll-free, at 1-877-987-3728, or fill out a form available online at www.ftc.gov.