California Man Pleads Guilty In Biofuels Stock Fraud Scheme
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A southern California man has pleaded guilty to defrauding 157 persons of over $4 million from 2009 through 2011 by selling them worthless, unregistered stock in a number of purported biofuels development businesses, announced U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden for the District of Nevada.
Gilbert R. Rousseau, 57, of North Hollywood, Calif., pleaded guilty on May 4, 2016, to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, and agreed to pay restitution of approximately $4.4 million. Rousseau is released on a personal recognizance bond pending sentencing, and faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
According to the plea agreement, from January 2009 to February 2012, Rousseau and five conspirators defrauded the victims, many of whom were elderly, by selling them worthless, unregistered securities in the form of stock and stock purchase warrants in four Nevada limited liability companies. The companies, Go Green Home Stores, U.S. Biofuels, Vista Biofuels, and G-Tec Biofuels, were not established or operated to sell goods or services, but were actually fronts for the fraud scheme. Rousseau and the conspirators also created and used two other Nevada companies, G.G.H. Marketing and A.G.M. Marketing Group, to market the worthless securities. Rousseau and the conspirators set up and operated websites for the companies that contained material misrepresentations and false promises to make them look legitimate and designed to get the victims to part with their money. The victims were solicited throughout the United States by telephone from call rooms operated by conspirators in California and Las Vegas. Some of the companies used Las Vegas addresses to receive funds from the victims.
The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel J. Cowhig.
This prosecution is part of efforts underway by President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes. For more information about the task force visit: www.stopfraud.com.