Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
FINANCIAL INVESTOR TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR STEALING MORE THAN $2.8 MILLION FROM
ELDERLY PEOPLE IN TAX FREE BOND SCAM
SANTA ANA – A financial planner will be arraigned today on charges of stealing more that $2.8 million from elderly people, some of whom he met through his father’s church. Hitomi Tsuyuki, 54, Coto de Caza, is charged with felonies for 93 counts of grand theft, 78 counts of the use of untrue statements in the sale of a security, 29 counts of theft from an elder, and one count of the use of a scheme to defraud. He faces sentencing enhancements for causing property damage over $2,500,000, aggravated white collar crime over $500,000, and loss over $100,000. He faces a maximum sentence of 163 years and four months if convicted. Tsuyuki is being held on $3 million bail and is expected to be arraigned this afternoon, Friday, June 20, 2008, at 1:30 p.m. at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana. A Department is to be determined.
Between Nov. 22, 1997, and Nov. 8, 2007, Tsuyuki, a financial planner, is accused of stealing more than $2.8 million from clients by convincing them to invest in bonds and instead spending the money for personal use. Many of the victims had been associated with Tsuyuki since he was a child, as they had attended the church where the defendant’s father was a minister.
The defendant is accused of encouraging victims, many of whom were elderly and trusted him, to invest in an opportunity that he falsely represented as the purchase of a tax free municipal bond. He is accused of instructing the victims to make the checks out to his company, Tsuyuki Integrated Financial Resources. Tsuyuki is accused of depositing the money into his own accounts instead of investing it as promised and using the money for personal expenses. The defendant is accused of also offering victims the opportunity to purchase interest in a money market account, instructing them to make checks out to the money market account fund, and instead depositing the checks into his personal account to spend on personal and business expenses.
When victims asked for documentation of their invested money, Tsuyuki is accused of creating false statements to reassure victims that their investments were safe.
Investigators began to review the case after receiving complaints from a few victims, who realized their investments were lost when they attempted to liquidate several years after initially making the investment. Several victims were unaware that their investments had been embezzled until being contacted by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) during the course of the investigation. To date, 35 victims have been identified. The defendant was arrested Wednesday by OCDA investigators.
Anyone with additional information or who believes they have been a victim is encouraged to contact Supervising District Attorney Investigator Bob Helvin (714)347-8691. Deputy District Attorney Yvette Patko of the Major Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.