Lewis Wallach was charged by a criminal information filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on September 29, 2020. The information alleges that Wallach was the former CEO of a Marin-based company known as Professional Financial Investors, or PFI. Wallach is charged in the information with one count of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
According to the information, PFI was a real-estate firm that owned approximately 70 properties throughout Marin and Sonoma Counties. Wallach had significant responsibility for overseeing operations of PFI and related company Professional Investors Security Fund, or PISF, along with the founder of the firm, who died on May 6, 2020. The information alleges that PFI and PISF raised more than $350 million from investors since 2015. The information alleges that from at least 2015, Wallach and the founder knew that the revenues generated by PFI properties could not meet the obligations of PFI and PISF to pay interest and distributions, but that they hid the truth from investors. According to the information, Wallach and the founder continued to falsely reassure investors, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, that PFI had the financial reserves to survive.
The information also alleges that from 2015 to May 2020, Wallach diverted more than $26 million from PFI for his personal benefit, including personal investments in a land development project in Texas, an office space development project in California, and oil and gas exploration and development projects, as well as payment of his personal credit cards.
An information merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and Wallach is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted of wire fraud or conspiracy to commit wire fraud under 18 U.S.C. §§ 1343 or 1349, Wallach faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment on each count, a fine of $250,000, and restitution if appropriate. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
On September 30, 2020, Wallach appeared before a magistrate judge in the Northern District of California, and at that hearing he waived indictment on the charges in the information, entered a plea of not guilty, and was released on $500,000 bail.
On December 16, 2020 Lewis Wallach entered a guilty plea to Counts 1 and 2 of the Information.
Outcome of Sentencing
On September 22, 2021 defendant Lewis Wallach was sentenced to 144 months of incarceration.
December 8, 2021 at 2:15 PM PST (*In-Person)
Judge Maxine M. Chesney
Courtroom 7, 19th Floor
Philip Burton Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse
450 Golden Gate Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94102
*Please visit the Court's website for policies regarding in-person visits to the courthouse at https://www.cand.uscourts.gov/
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For information or assistance with this particular case please contact the Mega Victim Case Assistance Program Unit at (844) 527-5299 or e-mail USAEO.MCAP@usdoj.gov.