Archives For Investment Scams

Jerome Whittington, 65, La Quinta, California; Patricia Torres Zavala, 42, Benicia, California; and, Kathleen Moore, 68, Olympia, Washington have been charged by a federal grand jury for their roles in a variety of fraudulent schemes, including one involving short sales, that victimized at least 20 investors and caused losses of more than $2 million.

The three defendants were charged in a superseding indictment filed on July 8, 2015. The 24-count indictment alleges that they lied to investors in a series of schemes, and then used investor money for personal expenses rather than investing the funds as promised.

Whittington is also charged in a separate case with posing as a former federal prosecutor in a case involving a former DEA agent.  Continue Reading…

Akbar Bhamani, 61, Carmichael, California, the head of a Sacramento, California, real estate investment firm, has been sentenced to 48 months in prison for duping investors by promising that deeds of trust would be secured on properties in which the investor would be in no worse than second or third position and that the indebtedness on the property would never exceed 70 percent of the value of the property.

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David Garcia Herrera, 70, Torrance, California, a former special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration, has been arrested on federal fraud charges for allegedly posing as an active FBI agent and helping a man who posed as a former federal prosecutor to defraud a man who enlisted their help in recovering money lost in two fraudulent investment schemes.

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Carlton P. Cabot, 52, Stamford, Connecticut, and Timothy J. Kroll, 44, New Hope, Pennsylvania, – the former Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Cabot Investment Properties LLC, respectively – were arrested for allegedly participating in a scheme to defraud investors in numerous real estate investments by misappropriating over $17 million to pay for personal and business expenses and covering up their fraud with manipulated financial statements.

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Bryan Binkholder, 43, Wentzville, Missouri, was sentenced to 108 months in prison on multiple fraud charges involving his financial planning and investment strategy businesses. In addition to the prison sentence, he was also ordered to pay $3,655,980 restitution to the victims.

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David Williams, 54, Studio City, California, a licensed securities dealer and investment adviser, as well as the former president and CEO of Sherman Oaks, California-based Morgan Peabody, Inc. brokerage and investment firm has pleaded guilty to federal wire fraud charges stemming from a real estate investment scam that resulted in about five dozen investors losing nearly $4 million.

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Jeffery Allen Gardner, 61, Hopkins, Minnesota, and Stuart Alan Voigt, 66, Apple Valley, Minnesota, have been indicted and charged with conspiring to defraud individuals and financial institutions, bank fraud and making a false statement in a loan application.

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Brenda Ashcraft, 45, Milford, Ohio, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to defrauding investors of at least $15 million between 2009 and 2013 in a fraudulent investment scheme to purchase and sell real estate through real estate investment trusts (REITs).

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Gregg E. Steinnagel, 54, Chicago, Illinois, was sentenced to 48 months in prison by U.S. District Court Judge John Z. Lee for scamming people whom he had persuaded to invest in a bogus lending program involving short-term, high-interest loans to distressed homeowners.

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Ivan Levy, 54, Boynton Beach, Florida, has been arrested for his alleged involvement in an advance fee loan scheme. Levy was charged with nine counts of collecting advanced fees as a loan broker, six counts of grand theft and three counts of petit theft.

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