COEUR D’ALENE—Dale Edward Lowell, 59, of Colbert, Washington, was sentenced today to 36 months in prison for wire fraud, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge also ordered Lowell to serve three years of supervised release following his prison term, pay $1,710,266.45 in restitution and forfeiture to victims, and perform 200 hours of community service. Lowell pleaded guilty to the charge on August 9, 2011.
According to court documents, Dale Lowell was a long-time resident of north Idaho. Beginning in early 2005, Lowell raised funds with the promise of profit and safety, often victimizing fellow church members. Lowell represented that he was an accomplished options trader and that his trading routinely returned profits of 10 percent to 50 percent per month. Lowell personally guaranteed the safety of the funds entrusted to him and inferred to investors that he had certificates of deposit in place to cover any losses that might occur. Lowell raised approximately $2.2 million from approximately 22 investor units, which included several family members. Lowell either lost the money in the stock market, used it for personal and family expenses, or made payments to investors in order to keep the Ponzi scheme afloat.
“Mr. Lowell preyed upon the financial hopes of others, falsely promising returns when he knew that he would use his victims’ money for his own use,” said Olson. “The significant sentence imposed by the Court sends the message that such criminal conduct will be strongly punished.”
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the State of Idaho Office of the Attorney General.