|By Dan Browning and Paul Walsh, Star Tribune (Minneapolis)|
In his plea agreement, Flaxman admitted that he fleeced Dr.
Prosecutors underscored that Flaxman also used the money for "significant expenses related to his multimillion-dollar home." His fraud was not born of need, but simply so he could "live like a playboy," said Assistant U.S. Attorney
The government pushed for a sentence of five years and three months -- the top end of the advisory sentencing guideline -- to "provide just punishment for crimes motivated by greed and marked by a complete disregard for the traumatic impact of his crimes on his victims."
"He left victims without financial means and in one case, contemplating suicide," Calhoun-Lopez said.
The defense argued for a light sentence, far below the bottom of the advisory sentencing guidelines, noting that Flaxman has accepted responsibility for his crimes, otherwise has no criminal record, holds MBA and law degrees from the
Court documents described a bizarre investment scheme in which Flaxman claimed to be a multimillionaire commodities trader and a partner in a Swiss hedge fund.
Later, he claimed to have connections with a former KGB agent and Russian mafia member named "Vladimir" and warned that anyone who crossed him would pay with their life.
Flaxman said he initially intended to invest the money that his friends entrusted to him. But when he began sending promissory notes to
Ford met Flaxman through the Barrons during a trip to
U.S. Postal Inspector
U.S. District Judge
Schiltz ordered Flaxman to spend three years on supervised release when his prison term ends. He also ordered restitution of
Flaxman has forfeited substantial amounts of cash, a 2009