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California woman pleads guilty to involvement in investment fraud scheme

On Behalf of | Dec 22, 2022 | Financial Advisor Misconduct

The U.S. Department of Justice announced that a California woman has pleaded guilty in connection with an investment fraud scheme, reports InsuranceNewsNet.

57-year-old Sharief Deona McDowell of Loma Linda entered the plea last week to one count of wire fraud.

Prosecutors said McDowell’s fraudulent conduct caused investors to suffer over $2.6 million in losses. She falsely told at least 28 investors that she would invest their money in commodity futures and options contracts. Instead McDowell misappropriated the funds for her own personal use, the plea agreement stated. She also fabricated trade confirmations and account statements to falsely indicate to the investors that they were getting returns on their investments.

In addition, McDowell was reported to have used a Ponzi-style tactic of using money provided by new investors to repay previous investors. The Justice Department said she had a history of defrauding investors and carried out the investment fraud in violation of a prior judicial order.

McDowell will face a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison when she is sentenced on March 10, 2023.

The attorneys at Lewitas Hyman have decades of experience dealing with securities fraud cases and have a deep understanding of how capital markets and financial service firms are intended to work to protect investors. If you think your financial professional or firm engaged in misconduct that caused you investment losses, contact Lewitas Hyman at (888) 655-6002or through our online contact form for a no-cost evaluation of your matter.