California Real Estate Fraud Report

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Home is now prison for crooked insurance broker

James R. Halstead, an Orange County insurance broker who raised $50 million from investors, luring them by promises of returns from 25-35% over three to four months, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge David O. Carter to 10 years in federal prison for operating a Ponzi scheme. Halstead told his victims he was investing their money in securities known as private investment in public equity, or PIPEs, but instead spent the money on cars, jewelry and a house. PIPEs are used to make bridge loans to businesses that are applying for long-term financing, such as building construction.

Before he imposed the sentence, Judge Carter heard testimony from the victims about the financial and psychological devastation Halstead’s fraud had cost them and their families.  In his “apology”, Halstead shifted blame to Irvine securities lawyer Jeanne M. Rowzee, who accused of misleading him about how the money was invested.

Read the full article in the Los Angeles Times.

© Copyright 2007-2017 Monique Bryher

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The information and notices contained on The California Real Estate Fraud Report are intended to summarize recent developments in real estate fraud, mortgage fraud, short sale fraud, REO fraud, appraisal fraud, loan modification scams, loan modification fraud and other real estate related crimes occurring in Los Angeles and California. The posts on this site are presented as general research and information and are expressly not intended, and should not be regarded, as legal advice. Much of the information on this site concerns allegations made in civil lawsuits and in criminal indictments. All persons are presumed innocent until convicted of a crime. Readers who have particular questions about real estate fraud, mortgage fraud and appraisal fraud matters or who believe they require legal counsel should seek the advice of an attorney.

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