The former CEO of Sherman Oaks-based investment firm Morgan Peabody has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for his role in a securities fraud scam that ensnared more than 100 investors. To pull off the fraud, David Williams created a separate real estate investment fund located in Studio City, which guaranteed investors a rate of return of 9%.
Williams then directed sales personnel at Morgan Peabody to offer their investors shares in the Studio City investment fund. Investors turned over nearly $4 million to the fund, which Williams used for his personal expenses and for luxury purposes. Investigators also discovered that Williams had misappropriated funds from two other investments. In all, Williams was accused of embezzling $6 million of investor money.
In addition to the investment fraud, Williams was charged with three counts of wire fraud, two counts of tax evasion and a single count of obstruction of justice for attempting to deceive the Securities and Exchange Commission and the federal judge hearing the case. In addition to the 15-year prison term, Williams was ordered to pay his victims $5.1 million in restitution. He was also ordered to pay nearly $800,000 in back taxes to the IRS and nearly $300,000 to the State of California.
Securities Fraud Attorney
Securities fraud charges can be exceptionally serious. Criminal securities cases are typically tried by the federal government. When you’re facing federal prosecution, you need the assistance of an experienced, aggressive securities fraud attorney like Robert Helfend.
The federal government rarely undertakes a prosecution unless they are reasonably certain they’ll win. Government prosecutors are well funded, well-organized and have a wealth of resources available at their disposal. You can’t outspend them on defense, so you need to use everything else that’s available to you. Effective federal defense starts with an effective federal defense attorney. Mr. Helfend has practiced criminal defense exclusively for more than 30 years, and will fight aggressively for you.
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/Criminal Defense case.
Photo Credit: Philip Taylor, via Flickr.com