September 20, 2007
OC Lawyer Charged with Fraud and Money Laundering
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California announced the indictment of an Orange County lawyer and another man on charges of defrauding clients of his firm of more than $1 million for purported investments in bank instruments that would return up to 40% a week. According to a press release (here), the defendants were charged with wire fraud and money laundering:
The indictment outlines a scheme in which [the defendants] solicited investments from victims – some of whom were clients of [the lawyer]’s law practice – by falsely stating that the money would be used to trade European bank instruments. The defendants allegedly told victims that their money would be held as collateral, meaning that the investment was completely safe. [The lawyer] told victims that he had completed high-yield investments in the past and had many satisfied clients. [The lawyer] also claimed that he traded AA-rated securities and bonds. The victims were told that their money would be refunded within 30 days of a request.
In fact, the indictment states, [the defendants] never invested any of the victims’ money. Instead, [they] used the victims’ money for business and personal expenses. No money was returned to any victims.
Clients are usually quite trusting of their lawyer, but believing anyone can make 40% per week shows once again that if it sounds too good to be true, it's not. (ph)
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