California attorney Derek Jones was recently arrested and charged on allegations that he defrauded investors in businesses he controlled out of at least $4.5 million.
As detailed in a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York:
“From at least 2012 through at least 2019, JONES solicited and obtained investments for various companies and investment funds he controlled, including the purported real estate development and investment firm BlueRidge Realty (“BlueRidge”) and the purported venture capital firm Realize Holdings (“Realize”).
JONES routinely made materially false oral and written statements to induce victims to invest, including statements that lied about BlueRidge’s and Realize’s assets. For example, JONES falsely claimed that BlueRidge was developing a “resort village” on land it controlled in Washington State, when in fact neither BlueRidge nor JONES owned or controlled the property, let alone had begun developing a resort there. Additionally, JONES sent a potential Realize investor an altered bank statement showing a balance in a Realize bank account of more than $7 million – at a time when that bank account actually had a negative balance of approximately $268.71.
JONES defrauded investors out of at least approximately $4.5 million. He misappropriated investments and used the funds to, among other things, transfer money to himself or relatives, pay tuition for a private school attended by one or more of his children, and make Ponzi-like payments to other investors.”
Derek Jones was charged with one count of wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft.
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