CEO Of East Bay-Based Internet Companies Marketing Child-Friendly Services Indicted On Wire Fraud And Securities Fraud Charges
Alan Anderson Arrested In Connection With Alleged Scheme To Raise Money By Creating False Impression of Profitability and Sending False Contracts to Investors
SAN FRANCISCO – A federal grand jury has indicted Alan Anderson, charging him with wire fraud and securities fraud charges related to a scheme to use materially false and fraudulent pretenses to induce investors to make contributions to three businesses that were marketed as providing child-friendly internet services, announced Acting United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Craig D. Fair.
The indictment filed October 13, 2021, and unsealed today, describes how Anderson, 59, of Walnut Creek, used misrepresentations to solicit investments for the three businesses. According to the indictment, Anderson owned and controlled Imbee, Inc., a Delaware corporation based in Walnut Creek marketed as a child-friendly social media platform; Fanlala, a California corporation marketed as a service providing internet-based music streaming for children; and Fruit Punch, a California corporation marketed as providing music-streaming service for children. The indictment alleges that beginning as early as April of 2010 through May of 2019, Anderson raised money for his companies by making false representations and creating false documents to support his bogus claims. For example, the indictment alleges Anderson created fraudulent income statements and profit and loss statements and misrepresented the companies’ profitability to investors and potential investors; that Anderson created and altered contracts to represent falsely that one or more of his companies would be acquired by larger companies; and that Anderson created and altered contracts to make fraudulent claims that his companies created partnerships with other existing companies. In addition, the indictment describes how Anderson emailed an investor to falsely claim Imbee was worth $21.6 million and that the investor owned 70% of the company.
In sum, the indictment charges Anderson with four counts of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343, and one count of securities fraud, in violation of 15 U.S.C. §§ 78j(b) & 78ff and 17 C.F.R. 240.10b-5. Anderson was arrested today in Walnut Creek. He will make his initial federal court appearance tomorrow at 10:30a.m., before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson, in San Francisco.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, each count of wire fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine. The securities fraud charge carries a maximum 20 years of imprisonment and a $5,000,000 fine. In addition, the court also may order a term of supervised release, fines or other assessments, and restitution, if appropriate. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christiaan Highsmith and Scott Joiner of the Office’s Corporate and Securities Fraud Section are prosecuting this case with the assistance of Claudia Hyslop, Morgan Byrne and Ralph Banchstubbs. This prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBI.