Two Southern California men was arrested and charged last month with securities fraud for their role in a $12 million movie investment scam. James Williams of Calabasas and Steven Brown of Santa Monica are two of three men charged in New York City in connection with the plan.
According to prosecutors, Williams, Brown have been accused of conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering for allegedly taking money from investors who thought they were fronting the money for major motion pictures. A third man, Gerald Seppala, of Wayzata, MN, is also charged with conspiracy and wire fraud in the scheme.
Prosecutors say the three men established an advance-fee scheme. They used the money to pay other investors, and for personal purchases, including a car and a house for Williams, and private school tuition for his children. The investors were promised guaranteed returns and profit sharing in exchange for their investments.
The accused co-conspirators allegedly produced frequent falsified accounting documentation for their victims. Williams was able to convince one investor to contribute $2 million to the scam by showing him falsified bank statements for an account allegedly meant for a movie. The falsified statement showed a bank balance of nearly $2 million, when in reality the account was empty.
A securities fraud lawyer you can count on
Securities fraud charges are complex, often because investments aren’t straightforward. If you’ve been charged with securities fraud, you need a securities fraud lawyer you can count on. Robert Helfend has practiced criminal defense for more than 30 years in Southern California, and takes cases in both state and federal courts.
Conviction on securities fraud charges can lead to lengthy prison sentences and expensive restitution requirements that can put the financial security of your family at risk. In virtually all cases of financial fraud, the victims simply want their money back. As your securities fraud lawyer, Robert Helfend will work tirelessly to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. If that’s not a possibility, he will work closely with you and the prosecution to maximize the return for all parties involved and minimize the impact on your freedom.
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.
Photo Credit: Shinya Suzuki, via Flickr.com