San Marino attorney arrested, accused of bilking real estate investors out of $4.5 million – Pasadena Star News

NEW YORK – A California attorney was arrested Tuesday for fraud for extracting at least $ 4.5 million from investors by lying about a real estate opportunity and creating the impression he controlled land he didn’t control.

Derek Jones, 46, from San Marino was expecting an appearance before a US judge in Los Angeles.

A complaint returned in federal court in New York charged him with wire fraud and escalated identity theft.

It was not immediately clear who would represent him against the indictment.

Prosecutors say Jones routinely made false oral and written statements to induce victims to invest in a “vacation village” on land that he allegedly controlled in Washington state.

It is said that he also sent an investor a modified bank statement with a balance of over $ 7 million when the account actually had a negative balance of about $ 268.

Authorities said Jones committed the crimes over a seven-year period from 2012 to 2019, spending poorly received profits on personal expenses including private schooling, or repaying some investors after transferring investor deposits to accounts for himself or relatives.

“As claimed, Derek Jones not only violated the canons of the legal profession, but also affirmed investors and defrauded them out of millions of dollars,” said Audrey Strauss, US attorney in Manhattan, in a statement.

FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said, “Unfortunately, investment fraud programs are all too common. We also try to bring the perpetrators to justice. “