A Rockville-based advertising executive was sentenced to six and a half years in prison for wire fraud and ordered to pay more than $4 million in restitution in U.S. District Court, in Greenbelt, on June 12.
Edward J. Lawson, president of Automated Revenue Creation LLC and Guaranteed Results Advertising LLC, sold commercial slots on television monitors in convenience stores and gas stations in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, promising his clients returns on their investments beyond what he could offer them, according to a press release from the U.S. District Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland.
In May 2006, Lawson began selling commercial screens for $15,800 with a guaranteed monthly return that began at $3,000 and escalated to approximately $30,000 after 15 months. By September 2008, Lawson was selling screens for $89,800 and guaranteeing monthly returns of $13,950 over a five- or 10-year period, the release states.
Lawson, 67, was charged with 20 counts of wire fraud in March 2011, in which each count carried a maximum penalty of 20 years in jail. Lawson pleaded guilty to one count in December 2011.
Marc G. Hall, Lawson’s private defense attorney, declined to comment on the case, citing an agreement he made with Lawson not to talk with the press.