A former California lawyer was sentenced in a Northern California federal court to more than 6 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to securities fraud. According to prosecutors, between 2007 and 2011, former Marin County attorney James Seltzer, 69, tricked at least clients into giving him more than $4.5 million dollars, which he said he would invest in stock and real estate. Instead, prosecutors say he used the cash for personal and business expenses.
Seltzer fled the country in 2010 and moved to the Philippines. He filed for bankruptcy in 2012 in the US, stating that he had more than $20 million in debts at that time. He had been charged with five counts of securities fraud, one count of mail fraud and three counts of money laundering.
Prior to his arrest, Seltzer had been disbarred by the State of California in 2014 for misappropriation of client funds, misappropriation of settlement funds and failure to cooperate with the State Bar of California’s disciplinary process. Because he failed to appear at a disciplinary hearing, he was disbarred by default.
In addition to the six-year prison term, Seltzer was given an additional three years of supervised release, and must pay more than $4.6 million in restitution to his victims.
Securities fraud lawyer
If you’ve been accused of securities fraud, or related charges including wire fraud or mail fraud, you need the assistance of an experienced federal criminal defense attorney like Robert M. Helfend. Mr. Helfend has practiced criminal defense law exclusively for nearly 35 years and takes cases in any federal district in the United States. He also takes cases in state courts in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.
An experienced attorney is your best defense in federal court. Federal prosecutions are well financed and well supported. Currently, the conviction rate in federal court exceeds 90%, so as a defendant in federal court, you must understand that the odds are heavily in the prosecution’s favor. That’s why having an experienced federal criminal defense attorney by your side is essential.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County securities fraud case.
Photo Credit: 401(k) 2012, via Flickr.com