A Beverly Hills man was charged Tuesday for allegedly soliciting more than $9 million from investors for a nonexistent hemp farm.
The suspect, Mark Roy Anderson, 68, is a disbarred attorney who is currently serving an 11.5-year sentence for an unrelated crime at the time of the indictment.
In 2012, Anderson was found guilty of running an “investment scheme that collected more than $9.5 million from victims who were falsely promised huge profits through investments in various oil companies and oil ventures,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
In the current case, Anderson faces five counts of wire fraud alleging he tricked investors into providing funds for his company, Harvest Farm Group, to harvest and process hemp that would be turned into medical-grade CBD isolate and sold for a substantial profit.
Anderson allegedly used the stolen funds for personal expenses including over $650,000 worth of luxury and vintage vehicles, over $142,000 in retail purchases and other expenses, withdrawing over $400,000 in cash, and over $1.3 million for a residence and surrounding citrus groves in Ojai.
Authorities said Anderson attempted to cover his previous criminal past from investors, assuring them he “was not the ‘Mark Roy Anderson’ with multiple prior fraud convictions,” according to court documents.
“The indictment alleges Anderson ‘concealed that he had been convicted of multiple federal and state felony crimes, including mail fraud, wire fraud, grand theft, forgery, preparing false evidence, and money laundering, and concealed that he was still serving a criminal sentence and still on supervised release at the time he was soliciting investments,’” officials said.
Anderson is being held without bond and is scheduled to be arraigned at a U.S. District Court on May 30.
If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years for each count of wire fraud.