Friday, March 11, 2011
Disbarred Lawyer From Beverly Hills Indicted in Investment Scheme
By a MetNews Staff Writer
A disbarred Nevada lawyer living in Beverly Hills has been indicted on federal fraud and money laundering charges for allegedly running an investment scheme that collected more than $9.5 million for purported oil company investments, prosecutors said yesterday.
Mark Roy Anderson, 56, was named in 12-count indictment returned Wednesday by a federal grand jury, the U.S. attorney for the Central District of California said in a release. Anderson was arrested by federal authorities on Feb. 23 after being charged in a criminal complaint that was filed in federal court.
Prosecutors claim that Anderson solicited investments from victims who were told that their money would be invested in various oil companies and oil-related ventures in Oklahoma and California. Claiming that investments would be made in companies with names that included National Healthcare Technology, Terax Energy, Westar Oil, China Oil and Petrolects.
Anderson allegedly promised victims substantial returns on their investments. The indictment also alleges that Anderson told victims that they were buying unrestricted shares in certain companies, meaning that the victims could sell the shares immediately.
The indictment alleges that instead of using investors’ money for the oil ventures, Anderson and his then-wife spent investors’ money for their own personal use. Prosecutors say the couple used investors’ funds to purchase a Beverly Hills residence and an interest in the now-closed Prego restaurant in Beverly Hills.
The indictment says Anderson failed to tell victims that he had previously been convicted of mail fraud, that he had been disbarred, and that a federal judge in Texas had ordered Anderson and Westar Oil to stop violating securities law and to pay nearly $3 million in penalties
The indictment alleges that Anderson caused at least 10 investors to invest over $9.5 million, very little of which was returned to the victims.
Anderson was freed on a $250,000 bond after being arrested last week and is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in U.S. District Court on three counts of wire fraud, three counts of securities fraud and six counts of money laundering.
Three years ago, in an article entitled “You Can’t Keep a Bad Man Down,” Forbes magazine reported hat Anderson had at one time owned the Union Bank Building in Los Angeles, before it went into receivership amidst claims that he failed to deliver on promises to investors, and that he had served a prison term for a $50 million real estate fraud of which he was convicted in 1991.
Copyright 2011, Metropolitan News Company