A former Beverly Hills real estate developer pleaded guilty to a $1.3B securities fraud. The man admitted last month to misappropriating between $25M and $95M of investor funds. The man used the money to fund a larger Ponzi scheme, and to pay for extravagant personal expenses.
Through the Woodbridge investment group, the man bought high-end real estate in Beverly Hills, Aspen and Miami. He also collected artwork by Picasso, Chagall and Renoir, and owned expensive luxury automobiles.
In addition to using investor funds for personal expenses, he diverted millions of dollars to his wife’s accounts. He also used credit cards opened in his wife’s name to fund his lifestyle. Prosecutors agreed not to seek charges against his wife.
While his scheme operated, he recruited wealthy investors, celebrities and other high-earners to fund the scheme. According to prosecutors, the scheme involved about 9,000 victims. The victims believed that the man would invest their money into high-end real estate in Beverly Hills and Aspen, CO. He told the investors that they could expect returns of 5%-10%.
The scheme fell apart in 2017, amid investment fraud allegations. The company had used funds from new investors to pay off existing participants. As the investment fraud complaints grew, the men could not recruit new investors. Two senior executives also face charges in the scheme. They pleaded not guilty and will go to trial in February 2020.
The man also pleaded guilty to wire and mail fraud conspiracy, and tax evasion. The man will return to court in October for sentencing. Prosecutors are seeking a prison sentence of at least 25 years.
Beverly Hills securities fraud attorney
When you face charges for investment fraud, hire an experienced securities fraud attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend takes investment fraud cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California. He also takes federal criminal defense cases in any US District Court.
Federal prosecutors are aggressive and persistent. You need a federal criminal defense attorney who is similarly aggressive and persistent to defend yourself. Don’t settle for an inexperienced attorney to defend you when your freedom is in jeopardy!
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/DUI case.
Photo Credit: Mike, via Flickr.com