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    Thom Mrozek
    Public Affairs Officer

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    Release No. 08-068

    May 20, 2008


    A Beverly Hills man who ran a company called Investment Strategies has been sentenced to 150 months in federal prison for operating a Ponzi scheme that defrauded his primarily elderly victims

    Alan David Libman, 65, was sentenced yesterday afternoon by United States District Judge Dale S. Fischer in Los Angeles. Libman pleaded guilty last September to mail fraud and money laundering.

    The fraudulent conduct involved a Beverly Hills-based company called Investment Strategies, which purported to provide short-term investments in art, coins and other collectibles. Through Investment Strategies and other companies he ran from 1994 until 2004, Libman offered short-term investments in high-grade collectibles, including rare historical documents, presidential memorabilia and other rare items. He falsely promised investors returns of 20 percent to 30 percent over a 90-day period, with the suggestion that the returns could increase as larger investments were made. Libman offered to maintain custody of the collectibles, which he said would help facilitate their resale.

    However, Libman used very little investor funds to purchase collectibles. While collecting approximately $5.5 million from investors, he spent only approximately $100,000 on collectibles. He used investor funds to finance his lavish lifestyle and to make payments to investors as part of the Ponzi scheme.

    According to court filings by the government, over the 10-year-period that he ran various fraudulent companies, more than $20 million moved through Libman’s bank accounts.

    One octogenarian victim lost a total of approximately $980,000 he invested with Libman, who offered that victim a bracelet supposedly given to Marilyn Monroe by Joe Dimaggio, according to court documents. Libman sent a bracelet to the victim, who returned it to Libman so he could sell it. Libman sent emails stating that he was in the process of selling the bracelet, but a buyer in New York “only wanted to steal the bracelet for $58,000 - and I turned them down.”  Meanwhile, Libman sent the bracelet to a different victim, telling him it was worth $90,000 and asking him to accept it as partial payment of some of the money Libman owed that victim. That second victim had the bracelet appraised, discovering it was worth only $6,000.

    The case against Libman was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service and IRS-Criminal Investigation.


    Release No. 08-068
    Return to the 2008 Press Release Index