United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California
Former Fresno Investment Advisor Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Investors of More Than $3.2 Million
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
Tuesday, March 05, 2013
Docket #: 1:11-cr-125-AWI
FRESNO, Calif. — Joseph Randall Medcalf, 56, formerly an investment advisor in Fresno, pleaded guilty yesterday to three counts of mail fraud and one count of bankruptcy fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud investors, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
In his guilty plea, Medcalf admitted that from at least May 2002 through October 2007, he carried out a scheme to defraud investors by offering investment “opportunities” in entities that he controlled, such as All Valley Holdings LLC, CenCal Value Investments LLC, and other ventures. Medcalf failed to register these investments with the Securities and Exchange Commission or other governmental entities. Medcalf convinced some investors to move their investments from secure IRAs and other legitimate investments to him. In some cases, Medcalf’s investments were nonexistent; in other cases, they were failing and worthless. Medcalf frequently did not even invest the funds, but either paid other investors “returns” on their investments or spent it for his own personal use.
According to court documents, Medcalf marketed the investment opportunities as safe investments for a set time period, and he usually guaranteed and interest rate between 6 and 8 percent. He stated that the principal and interest would be returned at the end of the term. In some cases, Medcalf executed promissory notes and subscription agreements that stated the investment’s time period and guaranteed rate of return. These promissory notes and subscription agreements were not authorized by the Securities and Exchange Commission or other governmental entities. In order to lull investors into believing that the investments were secure, Medcalf sent out financial statements showing substantial returns. Medcalf also encouraged his investors to rollover their investment for another term so he could avoid paying out on the investments and to forestall the investors’ discovery that the purported investments were not legitimate.
According to the plea agreement, Medcalf also filed a bankruptcy petition in which he fraudulently failed to disclose his connection with All Valley Holdings and CenCal Value Investments, in an effort to avoid disclosure of his scheme to defraud.
As a result of Medcalf’s fraud, investors lost more than $3.2 million. Medcalf has remained in custody since December 2011 when the FBI arrested him at the Atlanta airport as he flew back into the United States from overseas.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kirk Sherriff and Christopher Baker are prosecuting the case.
Medcalf is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Anthony W. Ishii on May 13, 2013. The plea agreement provides for a sentence of six and a half years in prison. The actual sentence will be determined by the court at the sentencing hearing.