Joshua Gould looted a trust belonging to his family, then moved on to client accounts. many of which belonged to fellow Orthodox Jews. Gould is said to be fully cooperating with authorities and attempting to pay back the money he stole.
Former University City broker indicted in multimillion fraud scheme
BY ROBERT PATRICK • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
ST. LOUIS – A former University City broker was indicted Thursday on charges that he ran a fraud scheme that took roughly $4 million from 20 local investors, the man's lawyer said.
Joshua Gould, 31, now faces one count each of mail fraud and wire fraud, lawyer Al Watkins said.
Gould, now 31, was a broker with Woodbury Financial Services at the time the fraud began, and was approached by two individuals who wanted Gould to invest another man's money, Watkins said. Gould was expected to achieve a certain rate of return, Watkins said, but was unable to, and began taking money from other sources.
Gould looted a trust belonging to his family, then moved on to client accounts, Watkins said.
He also invested some of the money in The Sports Nook, a sports ticket reseller, and spent some entertaining clients in Metro East strip clubs, Watkins said.
He said that the losses were still being tallied but were expected to be in the range of $4 million.
Nearly all the victims are from the local Orthodox Jewish community, Watkins said, including Gould.
The fraud began unraveling when an investor had a question on their statement, and Josh didn't have an explanation of where money had gone,"Watkins said. The client went to Woodbury, and an audit team was brought in from The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., he said.
Gould then contacted a lawyer and began cooperating with authorities, Watkins said. "My guy is doing everything and anything he can to make things right."
A Woodbury employee referred a reporter to the legal department, but a call was not immediately returned Thursday.
The prosecutor handling the case would not comment on Watkins' version of the fraud.
"The factual basis for the charges is spelled out in great detail in the indictment," Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Goldsmith said.
"Mr Gould has. . . acknowledged responsibility, assisted the federal authorities and put himself in harm's way to ensure that everything he could possibly do to right this wrong was done," Watkins said.
Gould now is dancing at the corner of Laclede Station and Watson roads in a Statue of Liberty costume promoting a nearby tax service, Watkins said. "He's trying to pay everybody back."
[Hat Tip: Norm.]