A Gasconade County man indicted last year on federal charges in a major fraud scheme will be sentenced in July, authorities said.
Scott A. Lansford, 34, Owensville, has pleaded guilty to three felony counts of mail fraud in the scheme, the U.S. attorney’s office reported Thursday.
He entered the guilty pleas in the court of U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry who scheduled a sentencing hearing for July 3.
Lansford conned victims by telling them that for a fee he could obtain pardons, reduced sentences and other relief for family members who are serving lengthy prison sentences.
He claimed he could provide these services because of his connections and relationships with judges, law enforcement personnel and government officials, including Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, according to information in the federal indictment issued in March 2011.
In Franklin County, Lansford allegedly obtained $7,500 from the family of Gregory Troxel who is serving a life prison sentence for the August 1995 murder of Imogene Schultz who was killed in the Melody Lake development south of Leslie, according to Franklin County Detective Ken Hotsenpiller, one of several officers investigating the case.
The indictment further alleges that in order to bolster his credibility with his victims, Lansford told them that he had worked for the FBI, served as a bodyguard for President Bill Clinton and that he formerly worked in Special Forces in the military. None of these claims were true, the U.S. attorney’s office said.
In exchange for the services that victims believed he was providing they paid him large sums of money in the form of cash, checks and money orders. One victim made payments to Lansford totaling approximately $35,000, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
Lansford faces a maximum penalty on each felony count of up to 20 years in prison and/or fines of up to $250,000. Restitution is mandatory. In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges, the U.S. attorney’s office said.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, the Scott County Sheriff’s Office and the Gasconade County Sheriff’s Office.