A former Los Angeles luxury real estate developer faces federal securities fraud for allegedly operating a massive Ponzi scheme. Despite having settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission last year, the man now faces criminal charges. In the SEC settlement, the man agreed to pay a $120 million fine.
The man, along with two former investment directors, face charges of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud. In addition, the developer faces charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering and tax evasion. All three men have pleaded not guilty to all charges. The director remains jailed without bail, while the other two men are free on bond.
According to prosecutors, the men targeted older investors with high-pressure and deceptive sales tactics. They told investors that their investment products carried a low risk. Alternately, they characterized them as safe, and conservative. The men particularly targeted people with substantial retirement savings. In reality, the men used investor monies to pay off previous investors. The developer also used about $35 million in retirement assets on luxury travel, personal real estate purchases and luxury cars. He also used some investor funds to satisfy tax obligations.
The men operated the scheme from offices in Sherman Oaks and Boca Raton, FL. The investment company eventually filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, causing massive investor losses. In all, 13 people face charges in the scam. Approximately 2,600 people invested about $1.3 billion and lost at least $400 million in assets in the scheme.
Los Angeles securities fraud lawyer
When you face charges related to investment fraud, hire an experienced securities fraud lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in federal criminal defense. He takes cases in any federal circuit in the United States. He also takes state cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.
Securities fraud cases often involve a lot of victims and high dollar amounts. They attract a lot of attention from the public and from federal prosecutors. But that doesn’t mean you can’t win in court. Don’t attempt to represent yourself in federal court and don’t assume that your best move is a guilty plea.
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.
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