News and Press Releases

Seal Beach Woman Indicted in $2 Million Real Estate Scam

December 19, 2012

Defendant Previously Convicted of Posing as FBI Agent to Call Victims

SANTA ANA, California – A federal grand jury today indicted a Seal Beach woman on mail fraud charges for allegedly running an investment scam that falsely promised ownership in commercial real estate and cost victims more than $2 million.

Karen Hanover, 46, was named in a two-count indictment returned this afternoon by a federal grand jury. The indictment alleges that Hanover operated the scheme out of two Long Beach-based companies – Commercial Investment Education, LLC and Kharmic Life Strategies, Inc. – and pitched victim-investors at seminars in Southern California, Dallas, and Las Vegas, Nevada.

According to the indictment, Hanover falsely promised victims a “fastrack” to owning commercial real estate. If the investors paid between $19,000 and $29,997, Hanover would become their “equity partner” and guarantee ownership in commercial real estate. The indictment alleges that Hanover further guaranteed that investors would “get into a deal” regardless of credit history or financial status, and that they would realize annual returns of 100 percent and would be protected with a money-back guarantee.

However, according to the indictment, after receiving the victims’ money,  Hanover gave them a “fastrack” agreement in which she negated virtually every promise, including the promise that she would refund money if asked.

As a result of the scheme, Hanover caused more than 50 investors to lose more than $2 million, the indictment alleges.

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in court.

Hanover will be summoned to appear for an arraignment in United States District Court on January 2, 2013.

If she is convicted, Hanover would face a statutory maximum sentence of 60 years in federal prison.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Previously in this investigation, Hanover was found guilty in October 2011 of impersonating an FBI agent to contact victims of the alleged real estate fraud scheme. She was sentenced to six months in prison and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.

Release No. 12-180

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