“Oregon Man Indicted for Alleged Role in $50 Million Securities Fraud Scheme”

May 16, 2013

The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs on May 16, 2013 released the following:

“An Oregon man has been charged with allegedly orchestrating a $50 million securities fraud scheme, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy of the Southern District of California.

Bradley Holcom, 55, of Canby, Ore., was arrested Tuesday following his indictment in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. The indictment, which was filed on May 9, 2013, and unsealed late yesterday, charges Holcom with eight counts of mail fraud, four counts of wire fraud and one count of securities fraud.

According to the indictment, Holcom made false statements to investors in connection with the sale of approximately $50 million worth of promissory notes that he sold to more than 150 investors located throughout the United States from at least 2004 through 2010. The indictment alleges that Holcom solicited investors to provide funds for the development of raw land for commercial and residential purposes through an investment program he operated called the Trust Deed Investment Program. Holcom allegedly falsely told investors who purchased notes through the Trust Deed Investment Program that they would receive a lien on a specific piece of property he was developing and that the lien would be in first position, which would allow investors to directly foreclose on the underlying development property if Holcom was unable to repay the principal due under the notes.

Despite his statements to investors, Holcom allegedly never provided investors with a lien on the property he was purportedly developing and instead conveyed to investors a lesser interest that did not allow investors to directly foreclose on the property to protect their investment. In addition, the indictment alleges that while Holcom promised investors that their purported lien would be in first position, Holcom solicited investments for properties that he knew were already encumbered by first position liens.

According to the indictment, Holcom also allegedly sold properties that were supposedly serving as the security for investors without informing investors that the property they had financed for development was gone.

The indictment alleges that by approximately 2008, Holcom’s financial condition had seriously deteriorated, but he continued to solicit investors for new funds by making misrepresentations about his true financial condition and the manner in which he was using investor money.

The maximum penalty for each wire fraud and mail fraud count is 20 years in prison. The count of securities fraud carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison.

The charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This case was brought in connection with the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. The task force was established to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices and state and local partners, it’s the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed nearly 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,900 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, please visit http://www.StopFraud.gov .

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Phoenix Division – Yuma Resident Agency. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Henry P. Van Dyck and Deputy Chief Daniel Braun of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, and by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Clark of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California. The department recognizes the substantial assistance of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

Federal Mail Fraud Crimes

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Royal West Owner Charged in Alleged Securities Fraud Scheme

January 5, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on January 4, 2012 released the following:

“Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announce that Gaston E. Cantens, 73, of Miami, was charged in a criminal information with one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371.

According to the Information filed in court, Royal West Properties, Inc. (“Royal West”) was a Miami-Dade corporation that promised to pay investors a fixed rate of return on investments made with the company. Gaston E. Cantens was the president of Royal West Properties, Inc. In this capacity, Cantens allegedly recruited individuals to invest in Royal West by promising investors that their investments would be guaranteed by properties or mortgages that acted as collateral.

According to the information, Cantens misappropriated money from investors by making materially false representations and concealing and omitting to state material facts concerning, among other things, the financial condition of Royal West, the manner in which mortgages and properties were assigned as collateral to investors, the assignment of non-performing mortgages, the assignment of mortgages that were paid in full, the proper recording of mortgages, and the recording of investors’ interests in properties and mortgages.

Specifically, the Information alleges that Cantens told investors that their moneys were collateralized by individual properties but failed to inform them that the collateralized properties had previously been assigned to other investors. Cantens received moneys from investors based on these misrepresentations, and used the moneys for his personal benefit and to further the fraud scheme.

The information alleges specific instances of fraud. For example, according to the Information, in February 2008, Cantens allegedly assigned a property to Our Lady of Belen Jesuit as collateral for an investment. In May 2008, Cantens assigned the same property again as collateral to investor “R.R.” for an investment. In addition, according to the factual proffer in the plea agreement filed today, Royal West sold the property to “V.R.” and assigned the mortgage on the property to yet another investor, “S.M.” Cantens never informed the investors, including Our Lady of Belen Jesuit, of the existence of other investors or their interests in the property.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI. Mr. Ferrer also commended the efforts of SEC Regional Director Eric Bustillo and his staff for their contributions to this investigation and its successful prosecution. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney H. Ron Davidson.

An information is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

Federal Mail Fraud Crimes

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Scott Kupersmith Arrested, Charged with Allegedly Defrauding New Jersey Firms and Investors in Securities and Investment Fraud Schemes

October 28, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on October 26, 2011 released the following:

“NEWARK, NJ— A man who allegedly bought securities without being able to pay for them and claimed to run a phony hedge fund was arrested this morning at his Boca Raton, Fla., office by FBI agents after being charged for allegedly orchestrating the securities and investment fraud schemes, New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Scott Kupersmith, 46, formerly of Alpine, N.J., and currently of Boca Raton, is charged by complaint with one count each of securities and wire fraud. He is scheduled to appear Friday, Oct. 28, 2011, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ann E. Vitunac in federal court in West Palm Beach, Fla.

According to the criminal complaint unsealed today in Newark federal court:

Kupersmith engaged in a securities fraud scheme commonly referred to as “free-riding,” in which a customer buys or sells securities in a brokerage account without the cash or securities to cover the trades. To perpetuate the scheme, Kupersmith and his associates opened more than half a dozen brokerage accounts at multiple brokerage firms located in New Jersey and elsewhere. In order to induce the brokerage firms to open these accounts, Kupersmith falsely represented that he had a personal net worth of approximately $5 million and that he controlled a hedge fund in Manhattan with assets of as much as $20 million.

Kupersmith also misappropriated the personal identification information of a family member and a friend and used that information to open additional brokerage accounts. Once these accounts were opened, Kupersmith used them to make large-dollar-value securities trades.

The defendant then failed to pay for or “settle” the trades he made that were not profitable. As a result, the brokerage firms were forced to settle the trades on Kupersmith’s behalf, leading to approximately $1 million in losses.

To induce investors to invest in a hedge fund he claimed to control, Kupersmith falsely represented to investors that they would receive extraordinary returns—representing to at least one prospective investor that he would receive a return on his investment of approximately 43 percent every three months—and told prospective investors that their principal investment was “guaranteed.”

Based on these, and other, misrepresentations, Kupersmith raised approximately $500,000 from investors in New Jersey and elsewhere. Kupersmith did not use investors’ funds to make legitimate securities trades. He used a small portion of the investments to fund his freeriding scheme, and spent the bulk of the funds either on personal expenditures—such as private limousine services, luxury hotel rooms, and adult entertainment clubs—or to make principal and interest payments to existing investors in Ponzi-scheme fashion.

If convicted, Kupersmith faces a maximum potential penalty per count of 20 years in prison, as well as a $5 million fine on the securities fraud count and a $250,000 fine on the wire fraud count.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office worked with the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s Office in conducting the investigation, and is charging related violations of New York state law.

The SEC is also filing a parallel civil action.

“According to the complaint, Scott Kupersmith managed to defraud both investors and brokerage firms of least a million dollars by making trades he couldn’t pay for and promises he couldn’t keep,” said U.S. Attorney Fishman. “‘Free riders’ and Ponzi schemers who live large on others’ money do so on borrowed time.”

“The alleged conduct undermines the confidence investors place in the markets,” said FBI Acting Assistant Special Agent in charge Douglas Veivia. “Kupersmith’s alleged defrauding of investors is even more troublesome in this time of economic stress.”

“Financial markets are governed by rules that keep investors safe. This defendant, skilled in the technicalities of market function and bank operations, allegedly came up with a clever scheme to create risk-free investments,” said District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. “The illegal scheme he is accused of was little more than a confidence game using offshore banks, shell companies, and fraud, and ultimately cost legitimate broker-dealers hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

U.S. Attorney Fishman praised special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward, for their work in the continuing investigation, and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, under the direction of District Attorney Vance, for its contributions and cooperation in coordinating parallel investigations. He also thanked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s New York Regional Office, under the leadership of Director George S. Canellos, for its assistance.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Kelly of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.

The charges and allegations in the complaint are merely accusations and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

If you believe you are a victim of or otherwise have information concerning this alleged scheme, you are encouraged to contact the FBI at 973-792-3000.

This case was brought in coordination with President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.