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Investment Scam Costs Clients Over $5 Million

A recent New York investment scam resulted in a guilty plea to mail fraud and tax evasion. Christopher Bass has been accused of defrauding more than 250 unsuspecting investors out of nearly $5.5 million.

Bass’ elaborate investment scam has been described as a complex Ponzi scheme. He has been accused of collecting nearly $5.5 million from clients with the notion that he would use that money to invest. However, Bass admitted that he failed to invest those funds and had actually used the collected money to offset business and personal expenses, including almost $170,000 that went towards a down payment on a luxury New York City apartment.

Investors were told that the money would be sent to various European countries to be invested in stocks, bonds, commodities and other similar investments. However, Bass allegedly defrauded the investors by using more than half the collected funds to pay personal expenses and dividends to previous investors. He also used a portion of the money to repay investors who demanded a return on their initial investment.

“This office is committed to prosecuting the perpetrators of financial frauds, including frauds which victimize individual and small investors,” said U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian.

Bass’ sentencing is scheduled for December 9, 2010, in Albany, New York.