A Palm Desert investment advisor faces charges of securities fraud. According to authorities, the man, who runs an Irvine investment firm, targeted elderly victims. They estimate that investor losses could run into the millions of dollars.
The man served as the CEO of Five Star Financial Services of America. Investigators say the man convinced retirees to let the company manage their retirement assets and promised significant returns. Instead, authorities say the man, his wife and his former wife, spent investors’ money on luxury items and real estate. Many victims suffered significant losses. One victim turned over $1.6M to Five Star Financial Services of America. To date, that person has recovered just $20,000.
Prosecutors claim that between 2014 and 2015, the man and his wife stole more than $4M from investors. His wife acted as the company’s president and also as the Chief Operating Officer. Prosecutors are also seeking the man’s former wife in connection with the scheme. She was a sales agent for the company. Authorities do not currently have her in custody, but federal investigators believe she may be in the Las Vegas area.
The trio reportedly told investors that their funds would be held at Chase Bank. The company provided investors with forged statements from Chase that purported to show their funds. Victims alerted authorities to the scam when they were unable to withdraw any money from Chase. Chase indicated that it never held investment accounts for any of the company’s victims.
Ventura securities fraud attorney
When you face charges of securities fraud, hire an experienced securities fraud attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of experience in federal criminal defense. He takes cases in any federal circuit in the United States. He also takes criminal cases in state courts in Southern California.
Federal prosecutions can be difficult. The federal government is well funded, and also well prepared to prosecute cases. The best defense strategy includes an experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorney. While federal prosecutors have a high conviction rate, don’t assume that the best option is a guilty plea.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County securities fraud case.
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