A California man faces securities fraud and other charges after an alleged
Ponzi scheme took millions from investors. Our investment fraud attorneys explain.
On Tuesday, June 5, 2012, 71-year-old Aldo Joseph Baccala, of Petaluma,
California, was charged with 167 felony counts that included elder abuse,
securities fraud, and grand theft. The felony counts come in relation
to an alleged $20 million Ponzi scheme that affected about 50 investors
total. Baccala is also believed to have been involved in additional fraud-related
activity, which caused losses of more than $3.2 million.
According to prosecutors in the case, Baccala lured in investors through
his Baccala Realty, Inc. by offering returns on investments related to
several ventures, including a car wash and an assisted living facility.
Some investors were promised returns of more than 12% annually, but Baccala
is accused of instead using investors’ money to cover trading losses,
pay off prior investors, and pay his own personal expenses. It has been
reported that many of the alleged victims in the case were either elderly
or had known Baccala for years.
Attorney General Kamala D. Harris stated that, “This Ponzi scheme
caused dozens of investors to lose the money they thought they would be
securing and investing. It is important to protect investors from being
duped by false representations from criminal actors.” Baccala is
currently being held at Sonoma County Adult Detention Facility and bail
has been set at $2 million.