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Men facing White-Collar Criminal Charges alleging Investment Fraud in Santa Ana

An attorney facing charges of felony grand theft in Santa Ana is accused of stealing nearly $1 million by using his credentials to legitimize fraud schemes, the Orange County Register reported.

Veteran Santa Ana criminal defense attorneys have seen an increase in these types of cases since the beginning of the economic downturn. Federal and state white-collar criminal defense requires a law firm with the knowledge, experience and resources to mount an aggressive defense. Particularly when a professional license, such as a law license, medical license or financial professionals' license is involved, the consequences of a criminal conviction can lead to professional and financial ruin.
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In this case, the 68-year-old Irvine defendant faces 16 felony counts of using untrue statements in the sale or purchase of securities and 11 felony counts of grand theft. He also faces a sentencing enhancement for aggravated white-collar crime of more than $500,000, theft exceeding $150,000 and property loss of more than $200,000.

A 66-year-old co-defendant from Laguna Woods will face the same charges in Orange County Superior Court. A third defendant, who lived in Lake Forest, has died.

The men allegedly accepted fees ranging from $25,000 to $177,000 as part of investment schemes. If convicted, each faces nearly 30 years in state prison. They are being held on $2 million bail.

According to the Orange County District Attorney's Office, the men approached victims who needed financing for various projects and charged them large fees under the pretence of securing funding. The first victim was allegedly promised $6 million in financing to build a luxury resort in Baja in exchange for a $25,000 fee. After 19 months without financing, he made a theft complaint with the Los Angeles Sheriff's Office. Ten other alleged victims have since been identified. Some took out home equity lines of credit and additional mortgages on their homes in order to pay fees to the defendants, according to authorities.

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