A York man has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $4 million from investors and failing to pay nearly $570,000 in federal taxes, U.S. Department of Justice officials said Friday.

Court documents state that between 2009 and 2017, William Bischoff of York defrauded more than two dozen clients through a Ponzi-like scheme orchestrated out of his Portsmouth company, Genesis Investments Group. Bischoff, 76, promised to invest clients’ money in real estate, structured legal settlements, start-up businesses and other high-yield endeavors, the Justice Department and the New Hampshire Bureau of Securities Regulation said.

Instead, Bischoff “used much of the defrauded investors’ money to pay personal expenses, engage in personal financial investments, repay other investors and make other payments wholly unrelated to” the promised investments, the plea agreement filed in New Hampshire’s U.S. District Court states. Bischoff even sent investors falsified bank statements showing how money was invested and substantial earnings, court documents show.

“In fact, after seeing their account statements many investors not only left their money with Bischoff, but gave him more money with which to invest on their behalf,” the Jan. 11 plea agreement states. “On many occasions, Bischoff converted that money to his own use as well.”

Bischoff defrauded 26 individuals – many of them family friends or relatives of clients – of at least $4.2 million during the eight-year period, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for New Hampshire, which prosecuted the case.

A statement from acting U.S. Attorney John Farley’s office said Bischoff also admitted to failing to file federal tax returns between 2011 and 2015, resulting in a revenue loss of $568,845 to the U.S. Treasury.

He pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of willfully failing to file federal tax returns. The New Hampshire Bureau of Securities Regulation stated in an October 2017 “cease and desist” order that Bischoff was not a licensed securities professional and Genesis Investments Group was not licensed as a securities entity.

Bischoff’s sentencing is scheduled for June.

Agents from the FBI, the IRS’ Criminal Investigation Division and New Hampshire’s Bureau of Securities Regulation investigated the case.

“Mr. Bischoff is finally taking responsibility for defrauding his clients out of millions of dollars,” Harold Shaw, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston Division, said in a statement. “Through a web of lies and deceit, Mr. Bischoff betrayed their trust and used their money to line his own pockets and prop up his failed investments.”

Kevin Miller can be contacted at 791-6312 or at:

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