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Dual U.S./Swiss Citizen Convicted of Fraudulently Soliciting Millions In Investment Scheme To Purportedly Export Diamonds and Gold From Africa

SAN JOSE—Fritz Kramer was sentenced today to 108 months in prison, and ordered to pay $7,956,267 in restitution, following convictions for wire fraud and commodities fraud, announced U.S. Attorney David L. Anderson and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge Craig Fair.  The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Edward J. Davila, U.S. District Judge.

After a six-week trial, on March 19, 2019, a federal jury convicted Kramer, 72, with a last known residence in Norway, of eleven counts of wire fraud and one count of commodities fraud.  Evidence at trial showed that Kramer fraudulently solicited funds from dozens of investors, several of whom resided in the Bay Area.  Kramer told the investors that their money would be invested in an export project in which Kramer would export gold and diamonds from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Europe, Asia, and the United States.  The evidence at trial showed that Kramer falsely promised investors returns of up to ten times the amount invested in as short a time as one month, though no investor ever received a return on their investment.  Trial evidence demonstrated that numerous investors sent Kramer millions of dollars based upon Kramer’s false representations regarding the export project.

A federal grand jury indicted Kramer on July 21, 2016, charging him with eleven counts of wire fraud and one count of commodities fraud. The jury convicted Kramer of all counts.

In addition to the prison term and restitution order, Judge Davila ordered Kramer to serve a five-year term of supervised release for the commodities fraud count, and a three-year term of supervised release for the wire fraud counts.  The terms of supervised release will run concurrently.  The defendant is in custody and will immediately begin serving his sentence.    

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Maia Perez and Jeff Nedrow are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Susan Kreider and Nina Burney-Williams.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.    

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