published Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Maryville man gets federal term in wire fraud scheme

A Maryville, Tenn., man was sentenced Monday to 80 months in federal prison after his July guilty plea to wire fraud, money laundering and filing false federal income tax returns, a news release states.

Brian Keith Miller, 47, also was ordered to pay $1,425,018.21 in restitution to 22 victims, including $142,771 in unpaid federal income taxes to the Internal Revenue Service, according to the office of Eastern District of Tennessee U.S. Attorney Bill Killian.

Miller will be on supervised release for five years after his prison term, according to the sentence by U.S. District Judge Thomas W. Phillips.

Miller's scheme involved convincing people in the Maryville community into entrusting more than $1 million to him, purportedly to invest in various ventures that Miller said would provide substantial returns. However, instead of investing the funds as promised, Miller converted the money to his own personal use and benefit, authorities said. He also used some of the money to make payments to other investors and convince some people that the investments were legitimate.

His victims included fellow churchgoers, friends and members of his extended family, the news release stated.

"This sentence sends a strong message to fraudsters like Brian Miller that might dare to undertake sophisticated schemes to defraud citizens out of their retirement funds, college tuition funds, and life savings that their schemes will result in federal prosecution and long prison sentences," Killian said in a statement.

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