|For Immediate Release
September 14, 2006
Public Affairs Counsel
(714) 347-8408 Office
(714) 323-4486 Cell
MAN TO BE SENTENCED FOR EMBEZZLING
$1 MILLION IN REAL ESTATE PONZI SCHEME
SANTA ANA – A man will be sentenced tomorrow for embezzling $1 million and cheating on his income taxes in a real estate ponzi scheme. Dianoush Emami, 46, plead guilty to six counts of grand theft, two counts of failure to file state income tax returns, and enhancements for a pattern of aggravated white collar crime over $100,000 and property damage over $150,000. The maximum sentence he could face is 9 years and 8 months in prison, but based on his plea agreement and the $1 million he paid in restitution to the victims, he will be sentenced to 9 months in jail and formal probation. He is scheduled to be sentenced tomorrow, September 15, 2006, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-30, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
Between January 1, 1999 and October 15, 2001, Emami convinced six victims, who he met through personal introductions, to invest in a ponzi scheme he claimed was a real estate venture that guaranteed high returns in a short period of time. The victims typically invested high dollar amounts in this fake business, and Emami quickly paid them off in excess of their initial investment the first time around. He then convinced them to re-invest, but instead of paying them off, he gave them small dollar amounts and claimed that he was paying them the interest. He told the victims that their money was still invested. He then used their money for personal gain and to gamble in Las Vegas, N.V. In all, he embezzled over $1 million from six victims, as well as withheld $165,000 from the California Franchise Tax Board. Emami has paid restitution to the individual victims equal to the amount he is charged with embezzling, over $1 million, but has yet to pay the Franchise Tax Board.
Deputy District Attorney Mark Sacks of the Economic Crimes Unit prosecuted this case.