Legal Industry News

May 22, 2012

Beverly Hills-Based Disbarred Lawyer Sentenced to Over 11 Years in Prison for $9.5 Million Investment Scam

A Beverly Hills man was sentenced yesterday morning to 135 months in federal prison for running an investment scheme that collected more than $9.5 million from victims. The victims were falsely promised huge profits through investments in various oil companies and oil ventures.

Mark Roy Anderson, 57, who was disbarred from the practice of law in Nevada, received the prison sentence yesterday morning from United States District Judge Percy Anderson. Judge Percy Anderson also ordered the defendant to pay more than $9.5 million in restitution, which represents the total amount of losses from Anderson’s fraudulent scheme.

Judge Anderson stated that “this was nothing more than an elaborate and concerted fraud by a professional conman,” noting that the defendant “had prior convictions…[that] came from a decade-long frenzy of fraudulent activity in the 80s.” Judge Anderson called Mark Roy Anderson a “financial predator with little regard for the law or harm he causes,” concluding that he was “solely motivated by greed.”

Mark Roy Anderson was remanded into custody in April 2011 after, according to Judge Anderson, he “brazenly violated court orders.” Mark Roy Anderson pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering last July.

Mark Roy 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. In addition he also promised his victims substantial returns on their investments.

Instead of using investors’ money for oil ventures, Mark Roy Anderson and his then-wife used investors’ funds for living expenses and personal items. Mark Roy Anderson also used investors’ funds to purchase an interest in the now-closed Prego restaurant in Beverly Hills. In total, approximately 14 victims lost more than $9.5 million.

“Mark Roy Anderson used his knowledge of the oil business to bilk investors and clients and to create a smoke-screen around his criminal activities,” said United States Attorney André Birotte, Jr. “But Mr. Anderson could not outrun the long reach of the law, and the collective efforts of federal and local investigators have brought him to justice.”

The case against Anderson is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and IRS-Criminal Investigation. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission-Division of Enforcement and the Beverly Hills Police Department provided assistance in the investigation.

Image Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Carlos_bcn

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