A Tennessee man has been sentenced to 8 years in prison for fleecing patients with cancer out of almost $700,000, according to documentation from the United States Attorney’s Office.
Howard L. Young, aged 75 and founder of a Nashville-based holistic wellness business called Integrative Medical Services (IMS), was also ordered to pay $693,128.66 in restitution for operating a Ponzi scheme he used to dupe over 80 patients, financial institutions, and investor
He was charged in October 2020 with four counts of bank fraud, six counts of wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft, and he pleaded guilty to charges in December.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) defines a Ponzi scheme as an investment scam in which existing investors are paid with funds collected from new investors. High returns with little or no risk are often promised, but the schemes have no legitimate earnings and collapse when new money stops coming in and/or large numbers of existing investors cash out.
The charging documents alleged that Young founded IMS in 2015, which he claimed was a holistic wellness business. Young claimed that he was a naturopath, but did not hold a degree or have any medical license.
Required Upfront Payment
Around 2017, Young began reaching out to patients with cancer, as well as investors and employees, and told them that he had received a $2 million grant from Vanderbilt University to…