A Marietta novelist who pleaded guilty in February of defrauding a woman he had dated and another couple in a phony lawsuit has been sentenced to serve more than 12 years in prison.
Mitchell Gross, 61, will serve 12 years and seven months, then another three years on supervised release, and has been ordered to pay $5.8 million in restitution to his victims, according to a ruling Thursday from U.S. District Judge Julie Carnes in Atlanta.
Gross, who has written six science fiction and legal thriller novels under the name of "Mitchell Graham," on a total of 14 counts of wire fraud and money laundering.
Among the charges were that he used an online Jewish dating service to scam a woman of nearly $3 million, using $1.5 million of that total to repay an ex-girlfriend in a case that generated international attention, including in Israel.
Prosecutors alleged that Gross used a fake name and created a fraudulent investment firm to receive the funds, which he used to purchase luxury items and other goods and services for himself.
Gross, a disbarred attorney, also pleaded guilty of defrauding a couple of $2 million for representing them in a lawsuit that was never filed.
Said Sally Quillian Yates, the U.S. Attorney for North Georgia: “This defendant demonstrated the most callous disregard for his victims, after leading them to believe that he could be trusted not only to safeguard, but to enhance, their financial security. Instead, he stole millions of dollars from them, using phony investment companies and fictional lawsuits. We are pleased that today’s sentence insures that the public will be protected from this fraudster for years to come.”