Yamini Potter pled guilty Wednesday in federal court to wire fraud and witness tampering/obstruction of justice, U.S. Attorney Gretchen Shappert announced in a statement Wednesday afternoon. Potter agreed to pay $121,000 in restitution as part of the plea.
Court documents say the investigation that led to Potter’s indictment began when the relative of an alleged fraud victim visited the FBI office, seeking help. That relative – also a witness in the case – told a strange story about a former public official, a promise to restore a revoked medical license and thousands of dollars handed over to someone believed to have made that offer over the phone.
The subsequent investigation led to an Oct. 23 indictment of Potter.
According to court documents, between May 2019 and October, 2020, Potter, acting as himself and impersonating other people, including Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller; former Lt. Gov.Osbert Potter; Attorney General Denise George; and former federal District Court Judge Curtis V. Gomez, contacted two victims and requested money to purportedly pay for lawyers and legal fees associated with various fictitious lawsuits, which Potter knew did not exist. The two victims paid Potter by cash, check, or wire transfer for expenses associate with these non-existent lawsuits. The total amount paid to Potter by the victims was $120,650.
After Potter was arrested and incarcerated for these actions, he reportedly continued to use the Bureau of Corrections’ phone to contact his victims on a recorded line. Potter pretended to be Judge Miller on four separate calls; former Judge Gomez on nine different calls; Attorney General George on 78 calls; and former Lieutenant Governor Potter on 47 calls. Even after arrested, Potter told victims not to cooperate with the federal authorities in his federal criminal case.On one occasion, he reportedly advised the victims to delete text messages between himself and the victims.
Potter will be sentenced Sept. 17 by District Judge Timothy J. Savage and faces a maximum term of not more than 20 years imprisonment per count, three years of supervised release per count and a maximum $250,000.00 fine per count. As part of his plea agreement, Potter agreed to pay $120,650 in restitution to the estate of one of the victims.