Sep 18, 2017

Sean David Morton Sentenced to Federal Prison

Sean David Morton sentenced to federal prison.
© Copyright 2017

(Special thanks to Greg Bishop of Radio Mysterioso for his coverage of the sentencing hearing and providing with updates and details)

Today at 11AM (PST), a federal judge sentenced bogus psychic Sean David Morton to 72 months in federal prison for his part in a tax scheme in which he was found guilty of falsifying tax documents, filing false tax returns while victimizing people for tens of thousands of dollars in a straw-man redemption scheme, and defrauding the IRS out of nearly $500,000.00.

Morton, who gained notoriety through the late night radio show Coast To Coast AM and through new age/UFO seminars for his wild predictions and UFO tales, was convicted on over 50 felony counts in federal court in early April.  Morton boasted he was "simply the best" when it came to making accurate psychic predictions, yet he never foresaw the coming of his own demise.

Federal agents originally arrested Morton and his wife in February 2016 as they disembarked from a conspiracy convention that took place aboard a cruise ship - ironically, one of the charges against The Mortons was conspiracy.  The Mortons were released after posting bond and later went to trial in federal court.

Prior to their arrest, the IRS contacted The Mortons on more than one occasion advising them the paperwork and forms they were filing were illegal and to cease filing them.  When The Mortons continued to file false bonds and paperwork in spite of repeated warnings from the IRS, a federal grand jury convened and indicted The Mortons on numerous felony counts.  While prosecutors filed 56 charges against each of The Mortons, they had the option of filing in excess of 100 charges against each Sean David Morton and Melissa Ann Morton.

Federal agents later served a search warrant on Morton's apartment and seized computers, mobile phones, and documents among other items.

During the trial, Morton represented himself and filed a myriad of bizarre filings in an attempt to disrupt proceedings, including proclaiming himself judge of his own court.

Self proclaimed "legal and
constitutional expert"
Sean David Morton.
"The court is familiar with the multitude of nonsensical pleadings [Morton] filed and stated in Court throughout the course of this criminal case, which has not abated since his conviction. [Morton]'s pattern of conduct of filing unintelligible pleadings began weeks after the initial indictment of defendants...The day [Morton] was released from his arrest, he filed unintelligible pleadings..." -- Prosecutors in a sentencing recommendation for Sean David Moron

Morton was advised several times by the presiding judge concerning his outbursts in court and his repeatedly calling IRS agents "jack booted thugs".  A jury took two hours to deliberate and return guilty verdicts on all counts against Morton and his wife.

After his conviction, prosecutors from the Department of Justice were seeking an 87 month prison term calling Morton "a serial fraudster."  Morton was scheduled to be sentenced in June but failed to appear in court as ordered.  A warrant for Morton's arrest was immediately issued.

"This is clearly a case where [Morton] has willfully undertaken a systematic effort to impede this prosecution and the resulting sentencing." -- Prosecutors sentencing recommendation on Morton.

Federal agents began surveillance on Morton's apartment, later spotting Morton's car parked at a nearby Domino's Pizza.  A short time later, federal agents observed Morton walking out of the business wearing a hat, sunglasses, a hooded jacket with the hood up, carrying a black computer bag.  Morton got back into his car and drove away.  It is unknown what kind, if any pizza Morton may have ordered.

Federal agents continued following Morton where he next stopped at the Fairmount Private School in Anaheim, California.  Agents reported being able to see Morton in the building as Morton repeatedly looked through a window, but did not elaborate on why Morton was there.  It appears the agents were waiting for what they felt was the best tactically safe place and time to arrest Morton, and with good reason; Morton's wife had told federal agents that Morton had a firearm.

On June 21st, agents from the U.S. Marshall's Service observed Morton's car parked in the driveway of his apartment and moved in to take Morton into custody.  Agents entered the apartment only to find Morton's wife inside and she denied knowing his whereabouts.

Melissa Morton had been allowed to remain out of custody on a release agreement which included her allowing federal authorities to monitor her cellphone and computer activity along with her agreeing to have no contact with Morton.  She also agreed to pay $10,000.00 if she violated any of the terms of her release.

Sean David Morton on a live YouTube interview while
he was still a wanted fugitive.
While on the run from authorities, Morton appeared on a live streaming YouTube program.  During the broadcast, Morton called the prosecutors and judge in his case "the biggest gang of criminals you're ever gonna' see." He also stated no warrant had been issued for his arrest and he was working on addressing legal issues relating to his case.

Morton made the baffling and unsubstantiated claim that the federal government profited over $417,000,000.00 by prosecuting him in a "kangaroo court."  Federal prosecutors noted this YouTube appearance in Morton's updated sentencing recommendation.

All of Morton's disjointed and babbling appeals were denied well before the YouTube broadcast and he had brought an end to any legal options he might have had because he had not been sentenced.  In order for an appeal to be considered, a case has to be completed including a defendant having been sentenced.  Morton claims to be a "legal and constitutional expert", but he does not have a law degree nor is he a licensed attorney.

Morton said during this same program that he would be returning to his Internet radio show soon, and undoubtedly Morton intended to use his status as a federal fugitive in an attempt to bolster his show.  Morton appeared on another streaming Internet program where he mocked the government by jokingly saying "oh no, they found me" while he laughed.

Hotel where The Mortons were taken into custody.
The following day, August 21st, federal agents followed Morton's wife to a hotel in Desert Hot Springs, California where she was meeting with Morton to view the eclipse.  Morton was taken into custody by the hotel's pool while Melissa Morton was nowhere to be found.  Federal agents intercepted Melissa Morton as she attempted to elude them by driving out of the hotel parking lot.  The arrest brought Morton's 61 day run as a fugitive to an end and both of The Mortons were lodged in jail without bail.

"In its original sentencing position, the Government presented ample evidence of defendant’s obstreperous conduct leading up to and after the trial in this case..." -- Prosecutors in a revised sentencing recommendation on Morton.

Melissa Ann Morton
For her part in the tax scheme, Melissa Morton was sentenced today to 24 months in federal prison.  Melissa Morton helped to move and conceal funds she and Sean David Morton fraudulently received from the government after they filed false tax returns multiple times in order to circumvent the IRS computer system.  She also helped to prepare and notarize false tax documents and filed false tax returns.

"[Sean David Morton] is a serial fraudster with a long history of perpetrating financial crimes and wasting precious time and resources of the government and the courts."  -- U.S. Attorney General on Sean David Morton.

The Mortons moved quickly to hide nearly $500,000 they received from the IRS through a fraudulent tax return.  Melissa Morton withdrew $70,000 in cash, opened other bank accounts to funnel funds into, and leased a BMW automobile.  Melissa Morton later lied to investigators about her bank accounts.  The Mortons filed multiple false tax returns attempting to obtain millions in fraudulent returns even though Sean David Morton has no verifiable income.

The Mortons were living it up while filing for
bankruptcy and claiming they were nearly homeless
after they defrauded investors out of $6,000,000
and later were charging people thousands for a
phony debt redemption scheme.
The Mortons charged people thousands of dollars claiming they could eliminate anyone's personal debt through a bonding process.  The Mortons received a letter from the California Tax Franchise Board advising the bonding process they were selling was not legitimate along with warnings from the IRS.

In spite of these warnings and knowing the process did not work, The Mortons continued selling the bonds to people including a woman who paid $2500.00 for The Mortons to erase her massive student loan debt, and an elderly couple who paid The Mortons $10,000 to erase their overwhelming debt.  In both cases, the bond process did not work and The Mortons refused to refund their money.

" I have never stolen from anyone in my life, and I cannot even fathom how someone could risk incurring such karma for base, short term monetary gain."  -- Sean David Morton in 2010 about his being sued by the SEC for defrauding investors.

The Mortons enjoyed season tickets
to USC Trojans football games
while claiming they were broke
and almost homeless in 2015.
In 2010, Morton and his wife were sued by the SEC in a case where The Mortons defrauded $6,000,000 from investors in what SEC officials called a "psychic scheme" where Morton claimed he could use his alleged psychic powers to predict the stock market.  The SEC investigation found very little of the money had actually been invested and The Mortons had diverted investor funds into personal accounts and shell companies.  The SEC also showed that none of Morton's stock market predictions were true nor accurate and Morton's claim of a prestigious financial firm accrediting the investment fund was also false.

The Mortons were ordered to repay nearly $12,000,000 in fines and restitution and were restrained from engaging in trading again.  The Mortons were sued by some of the investors including an elderly woman who lost her life savings in the scheme.

In 2015, The Mortons filed for bankruptcy but their application was denied after bankruptcy officers discovered The Mortons had lied under oath about their financial interests including claiming they paid for everything in cash and did not have bank accounts.  In spite of The Mortons claiming to be nearly destitute and homeless, they still managed to have season USC Trojans football tickets.  The Mortons were also charging people thousands of dollars in their debt redemption scheme and Morton was charging hundreds of dollars for psychic readings.

Click above to read the investigation Sean David Morton tried to suppress.
All he had to do was prove a single false statement had been made. When it came time for Morton to put up, his proof never materialized. Morton only needed to provide the court with a solitary piece of evidence and he couldn't do it." editor on Morton's inability to prove any of his claims during a lawsuit Morton filed against

Morton was exposed in 2001 when published its investigation, The Shameless Psychic and his Prophecy of Lies which exposed Morton's educational background, psychic and other claims as false.   In 2003, Morton attempted to sue claiming the investigation was untrue and libelous.  After failing to prove a single claim in court, Morton lost and was ordered to pay $16,000 in legal fees to  Morton was directly invited to refute a single claim in the investigation and he failed to do so.

Sean David Morton will be released from federal prion in 2023 and Melissa Ann Morton will be released in 2019.  During the sentencing hearing, Morton  spoke for roughly forty minutes telling the judge he was a sovereign citizen.  Morton told the judge it was a mistake that he represented himself in the trial and asked to be assigned legal counsel.  The judge denied Morton's request for representation and told Morton he explained the legal options available and the dangers of representing himself prior to trial.

The Mortons were both ordered to pay restitution, were ordered to not engage in any financial or debt relief, and will serve five years parole.

#seandavidmorton #psychics #sdm 


Erickson said...

Thanks for your coverage. My calculation of eligible credits (using the online Prison Sentence Calculator) shows Sean could be released in 2022. Of course both will be eligible for serving part of that in a half way house, which generally is up to a year.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Fast reporting. Did you go? I read the DOJ press release and you're clearly not just copying from that. Pretty impressive. :) said...

I did not attend the sentencing hearing, Greg Bishop of Radio Mysterioso did and provided updates on the sentencing.

Anonymous said...

Before he absconded, Sean would have been put in a minimum security prison -- the stereotypical Club Fed. Due to his actions, he is likely now deemed an escape risk and will be put in a medium or maximum security prison. A lot harder time, with a lot harder inmates.

Most of us are our own worst enemy, but Sean takes it to a whole 'nother level.

In prison, and even in jail, know-it-alls usually get the crap beat out of them until they learn the lesson of humility.

ArizonaWill said...

I just don't understand our legal system of justice. There are people with sentences of 20 years in prison simply for smoking or distributing pot. Yet this man ruins the lives of hundreds of people and gets a paltry 72 months? I give up. I truly give up on trying to find sanity and rationality in our system of justice.

Louis Sheehan said...

Any idea as to where all the money went other than -- I believe -- for USC Football season tickets? What kind of lifestyle was he -- were they -- leading?

Erickson said...

I finally got around to see where Sean had been assigned. He is currently in Tucson USP, with an official release date of 11/08/2022 (not counting credits against the sentence).

Tucson is a high security facility but it also has a minimum security camp. The federal inmate locator does not specify where Sean is house. Former congressperson Randy Cunningham served time in the camp after being convicted of tax evasion, fraud, and other offenses. Cunningham stated that he helped teach basic skills to other prisoners there. I wonder what Sean will do?

Melissa is housed in Victorville Medium II FCI with an official release date of 5/16/2019. It is a medium security prison with an adjacent camp. said...

Nobody seems to know where the money went to, but many have suggested a large sum of it has been stashed away. Both Sean Morton and Melissa Morton, upon their release from prison, will be required to have a job and they must report all income and spending to a parole officer. Sean Morton claimed he had expenses of over $#K each month in a pre-sentencing interview, but could not provide information on how he earned a living.

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify some Federal sentencing guidelines, as far as the time required to be served: if there are no disciplinary proceedings, or additional charges, while Sean is in jail, he will serve 85% of the 72 months = 61 months. Since he is a first-time felon, and this is a non-violent crime, he will be eligible to be released to a halfway house up to 12 months before the end of his sentence = 49 months. One month of time served to his credit = 48 months. Sean will likely be released August, 2021, with a total of 6 years supervised release (1 year halfway house, 5 years probation).

Bunk Psychic Released from Prison