(CN) - A federal jury convicted a Riverside, Calif. man of swindling more than 200 people in $14 million investment scheme.
Bradley Stark, 37, was convicted of seven counts of wire fraud and one count of securities fraud for his fraudulent securities offerings. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison and $250,000 in fines on each wire fraud count and up to 5 years and a $250,000 fine for securities fraud.
Prosecutors say Stark lied to investors in Sardaukar Holdings, which he managed.
Stark and his cohorts told their victims, falsely, "that: 1) he had previous institutional trading experience; 2) he was a registered securities broker or dealer; 3) he had hundreds of millions of dollars in investments from private and institutional clients; 4) he would invest the investor's funds in sophisticated financial transactions, including tri-party repurchase agreements, commodities futures and currency trading; 5) historically, investments in Sardaukar had yielded high rates of return, often more than 20 to 30 percent per month; and 6) for $50,000, investors could purchase an insurance contract through him that would insure invested principal against any loss," prosecutors said in a statement.
Stark also failed to inform his suckers that he had been convicted of uttering a false and counterfeit security in April 2003 and of check fraud in Colorado in May 2003.
Prosecutors said Stark spent the money on luxury cars, travel, entertainment and jewelry, and gave more than $1 million to his wife.
The largest investor in Sardaukar Holdings was Megafund Corp., which was run by Stanley Leitner in the Dallas area. Leitner testified for the government at trial. He had previously been convicted of wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering in connection with his operation of Megafund, and is serving a 17½ year prison sentence, prosecutors said.
Stark, who represented himself at trial, will be sentenced on April 21.
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