Two men sentenced to federal prison for investment fraud

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two men with connections to the city have been sentenced for conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Chawalit Wongkhiao, 29, from Jacksonville and Joshua Gilliland, 31, from Chattanooga, TN, formerly of Jacksonville were both sentenced Tuesday. 

Wongkhiao was sentenced to a term of four years and seven months and Gilliland was sentenced to one year and three months’ imprisonment.

The court also entered a money judgment against Wongkhiao and Gilliland in the amount of $1,120,831 the proceeds of the fraud.

Wongkhiao pleaded guilty on Aug. 25, 2015, and Gilliland pleaded guilty on Sept. 25, 2015.

According to court documents, Gilliland and Wongkhiao, doing business as Allied Markets LLC, solicited money for purported investments in foreign currency exchange (“forex”) transactions. Between March 2012 and July 2014, based on their representations, investors gave them substantial amounts of money.

Contrary to their representations, Gilliland and Wongkhiao invested only a small portion the total investors’ funds in forex transactions, which resulted in a loss. A large portion of the funds were used for personal expenses, including cash withdrawals, rent, furnishings, clothing, travel, food, and entertainment. They also used some of the funds received from later investors to pay off earlier investors.       

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, and the Jacksonville Beach Police Department.