DISBARRED LAWYER INDICTED IN $9.5 MILLION INVESTMENT SCAM
LOS ANGELES – A Beverly Hills man has been indicted on federal fraud and money laundering charges for allegedly running an investment scheme that collected more than $9.5 million from victims who were promised huge profits from purported investments in various oil companies and oil ventures.
Mark Roy Anderson, 56, was named in 12-count indictment returned yesterday by a federal grand jury. Anderson was arrested by federal authorities on February 23 after being charged in a criminal complaint that was filed in federal court.
Court documents allege that Anderson solicited investments from victims who were told that their money would be invested in various oil companies and oil-related ventures in Oklahoma and California. Claiming that investments would be made in companies with names that included National Healthcare Technology, Terax Energy, Westar Oil, China Oil and Petrolects, Anderson allegedly promised victims substantial returns on their investments. The indictment also alleges that Anderson told victims that they were buying unrestricted shares in certain companies, meaning that the victims could sell the shares immediately.
The indictment alleges that instead of using investors’ money for the oil ventures, Anderson and his then-wife spent investors’ money for their own personal use. The complaint filed earlier this month specifically alleged that Anderson and his then-wife used investors’ funds to purchase a Beverly Hills residence and an interest in the now-closed Prego restaurant in Beverly Hills.
The indictment goes on to allege that Anderson failed to tell victims that he had previously been convicted of mail fraud, that he had been disbarred from the practice of law by the state of Nevada, and that a federal judge in Texas had ordered Anderson and Westar Oil to stop violating securities law and to pay nearly $3 million in penalties a lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission .
The indictment alleges that Anderson caused at least 10 investors to invest over $9.5 million, very little of which was returned to the victims.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
Anderson, who was freed on a $250,000 bond after being arrested last week, is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in United States District Court.
The indictment charges Anderson with three counts of wire fraud, three counts of securities fraud and six counts of money laundering.
Each count of wire fraud carries a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. Each count of securities fraud carries a statutory maximum penalty of 25 years in federal prison. Each count of money laundering carries a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.
The case against Anderson is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and IRS - Criminal Investigation. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Division of Enforcement, and the Beverly Hills Police Department provided assistance in the investigation.
Release No. 11-032
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