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Date: 03-10-2023

Case Style:

United States of America v. J. Nicholas Bryant

Case Number: 5:22-cr-00099

Judge: James Wesley Hendrix

Court: United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas (Dallas County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office in Dallas

Defendant's Attorney:

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Description: Dallas, Texas criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant charged with wire fraud.

Federal Courthouse - New York City, New York

Dallas County Courthouse - Dallas, Texas

MoreLaw Legal News For Dallas

J. Nicholas Bryant, age 26, of Slaton, Texas, engaged in various wire fraud schemes to defraud at least 56 unsuspecting individuals and small businesses during an 18-month crime spree that spanned multiple states.

The fruits of his crimes brought him luxury goods and services – including private jet rides, private yacht excursions, and extravagant meals complete with champagne and steak.

In many instances, Mr. Bryant manipulated online payment platforms like QuickBooks and Veem to make it appear that payments were forthcoming. Knowing that the software would generate payment confirmations immediately but would take several days to notify victims of cancelled payments, Mr. Bryant satisfied vendors and business owners that payments were forthcoming when due, he admitted in plea papers. The payments never funded.

In all, he defrauded and attempted to defraud victims of more than $3.5 million, and successfully racked up nearly $1.2 million in actual losses to the victims, prosecutors said at Thursday’s sentencing hearing.

In one fraud scheme, Mr. Bryant convinced small businesses to front money and equipment to reopen an oil well. In the process, he exploited the trust of former colleagues, friends, and acquaintances who worked in the West Texas oil and gas industry, where business is often conducted with a handshake, the government said. In several others, he defrauded small business owners who were eager for business during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr. Bryant did so for pretention, ostentation, and Instagram moments, the government noted at sentencing. The government also observed that rather than expressing remorse for targeting companies that were struggling to survive in the midst of a pandemic that had gutted their business models, Mr. Bryant reveled in his notoriety, bragging about his crimes to media outlets and to his friends.

Judge Hendrix determined that Mr. Bryant had failed to accept responsibility for his crimes and revoked the credit he was set to receive based on acceptance of responsibility. Judge Hendrix also ordered Mr. Bryant to pay $1,185,691.38 in restitution to his victims.

The U.S. Secret Service’s Lubbock Resident Office, the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Criminal Investigations Division, the Lubbock Police Department, the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office, the Brownwood Police Department, Texas Parks & Wildlife of Coleman County, the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana, and the Cody Police Department in Wyoming conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann Howey prosecuted the case.

Outcome: Imprisonment with BOP for a term of 168 months to run concurrently with any probation revocation in Case Nos. 2019-418,105 and 2020-419,435, pending in the 137th Judicial District Court, Lubbock County, Texas, and any probation revocation in Case No. CR55024, pending in the 385th Judicial District Court, Midland County, Texas. This sentence shall run concurrently with any sentence imposed in Case No. DC-2022-CR-0110, pending in the 137th Judicial District Court, Lubbock County, Texas, and Case No. CR-2022-105-COD, pending in the 5th Judicial District Court, Park County, Wyoming. This sentence shall also run consecutively to any sentence imposed in Case Nos. 2019-735,716 and 2019-683,081, pending in the Justice of the Peace, Precinct 2, Lubbock County, Texas; Supervised Release for a term of 3 years; Restitution of $1,185,691.38; MSA of $100.00

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