A Montecito man will face federal securities fraud charges for running investment scams and violating a court order. A federal court ordered the man to stop selling securities, following a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation in 2014
The man pleaded not guilty to the charges. The court released him on a $300,000 bond. According to the 21-count indictment, the man operated two investment firms that solicited investments in Facebook and Twitter. In addition, he manufactured a false estate settlement investment.
Investigators say that the man promised investors that he would use the money to purchase shares in the IPOs for Facebook and Twitter. Instead, he used the money to pay for his own personal expenses. Those included his mortgage payments, credit card payments and casino debts. That scam operated between October 2010 and October 2015. Investors lost nearly $5M.
In the second scam, the man persuaded investors to buy shares in an estate worth more than $1B. The man told investors that they would receive their returns when the estate was settled by the probate court. He promised some investors returns of more than 1,000 percent. Investigators say the man fabricated the story of the billion-dollar estate. Investors in that scam lost more than $750,000.
Prosecutors also indicted the man for selling securities in violation of a previous court order. The court had issued an injunction following the investigation of the first scam. He now faces eight contempt of court charges in addition to the investment fraud charges. If found guilty, the man faces a maximum of 20 years in prison on the securities fraud charges. He could face any term on the contempt charges. His trial is scheduled to begin on March 20.
Los Angeles securities fraud attorney
When you face securities fraud charges, hire an experienced securities fraud attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of experience in courtroom criminal defense. He will fight aggressively on your behalf.
Federal criminal cases pose a difficult challenge. Investigators and prosecutors have enormous resources available to them. They have a more than 90% conviction rate. With such a high win rate, federal prosecutions seem overwhelming. The reality, however, is that prosecutors don’t take cases into court unless they’re sure they can win. That creates a strategic opportunity for federal defendants, especially when they have an experienced attorney by their side.
Don’t assume there’s nothing you can do when you face federal criminal charges. 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: Scott Beale, via Flickr.com