Assistant U. S. Lawyers Oleksandra Johnson (619) 546-9769 and Valerie H. Chu (619) 546-6750
Information Launch SUMMARY – January 3, 2022
SAN DIEGO – Alexander Avergoon, a longtime San Diego true estate agent and businessman, was sentenced in federal court docket right now to 64 months in prison for defrauding buyers in several Ponzi serious estate investment decision strategies. As part of his guilty plea, Avergoon also admitted to collaborating in numerous tax evasion and fraud schemes with Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, former director at Chabad of Poway.
Avergoon was purchased to pay out $9,679,306.70 in restitution to numerous victims. The Court docket also purchased Avergoon to forfeit to the United States the amount of money of $5,205,234.41 as proceeds of illegal carry out and house involved in the offense.
“This defendant is a prolific fraudster who has stolen tens of millions of pounds from the numerous victims of his devious schemes,” explained U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman. “It’s now his turn to fork out the selling price for his crimes.” Grossman thanked the prosecution workforce, the FBI and the IRS for their devotion to achieving justice in this matter.
“The defendant participated in advanced fiscal strategies which defrauded non-public citizens out of hundreds of thousands of dollars,” reported FBI Particular Agent in Demand Suzanne Turner. “The FBI will continue to work with our law enforcement associates to root out all kinds of monetary fraud which not only damage the victims, but also negatively effect those people who depend on personal donors and investors to carry out legit business.”
“Mr. Avergoon victimized dozens of investors twofold, by not only swindling them out of hundreds of thousands of bucks, but also recruiting victim-buyers to dedicate tax fraud,” said Exclusive Agent in Charge Ryan L. Korner of IRS Legal Investigation’s Los Angeles Subject Business office. “Today’s sentencing sends a very clear concept that IRS Prison Investigation will pursue and keep accountable economic fraudsters who deceive and cheat persons in search of to devote in our genuine estate and lending markets. Our Distinctive Agents had been proud to operate with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to deliver Mr. Avergoon’s strategies to an conclusion.”
Avergoon pleaded guilty in July 2020, admitting that from 2010 to 2015, he and Goldstein recruited at least nine taxpayers who created more than $275,000 in fraudulent “donations” to the Chabad. Avergoon acted as a conduit to secretly return 90 % of the money to the purported “donors.” Avergoon also admitted that he joined Rabbi Goldstein in a grant fraud rip-off in which they attained hundreds of 1000’s of dollars in misappropriated grant cash, and a govt advantages fraud scheme.
As component of the federal government rewards fraud scheme, Avergoon applied shell providers, like “Imagination Building Business,” to generate fictitious and backdated invoices for products and services like carpet installation, repairs to the Chabad of Poway’s HVAC process, and replacing broken guides and other supplies—even even though Avergoon experienced under no circumstances executed these providers. In some cases, Avergoon would give Goldstein many faux bids from various shell companies, so that Rabbi Goldstein could trick the grant plan directors into believing he experienced complied with their competitive bidding demands. Avergoon and Goldstein pretended that the federal government grant cash would be utilized for services upgrades, security programs, and group courses. But in fact, the dollars frequently went straight to Goldstein’s and Avergoon’s pockets other instances they made use of portions of it to fork out contractors who had in truth charged substantially lower rates than reflected on Avergoon’s phony paperwork.
Apart from his fraudulent partnership with Rabbi Goldstein, Avergoon also admitted to taking part in independent actual estate Ponzi strategies from 2010 to 2016, in which he cheated retirement traders out of a total of $12 million. Avergoon was a San Diego-primarily based genuine estate agent, and he made use of his business understanding and track record to focus on trusting victims who would commit in what they considered was the purchase of rental house.
Avergoon promised month to month dividends that would be paid from rental money. He created published financial commitment resources like prospectus and projected earnings and expenses calculations, created to give traders the false effect that their cash would be safely tucked absent in passive-cash flow retirement investments. But in real truth, as an alternative of making use of investors’ money to get rental qualities as he promised, Avergoon spent the revenue himself and just pretended that he had obtained the condominium structures and office space he marketed. In real Ponzi style, for a time, Avergoon manufactured the promised dividend payments—but fairly than working with hire money, he funded all those payments using new investor funds.
Avergoon deceived additional than a dozen unwitting traders, convincing them to aspect with at the very least $5 million. When an investor would request to funds out, he encouraged them to re-invest, and at just one stage he pretended to “roll over” their retirement investments to order a multi-million-dollar commercial making. In truth, he purchased that setting up with a personal loan, not with investor money, and once again diverted their income to his personal particular use. He made faux partnership agreements, untrue obtain paperwork and deeds, and other fictitious documents, and forged the signatures of his buyers to conceal the fraud—then laundered the proceeds in order to disguise the accurate resource and possession of the cash.
Avergoon did not prevent there. He certain buyers to portion with another $5 million or far more by pretending to use their income to fund small-phrase, small-chance financial loans supposedly secured by the borrowers’ high-conclude San Diego properties. But in truth, there were no “borrowers”—Avergoon used his genuine estate connections to identify homes he could pose as collateral, and he merely doctored up fake loan agreements and forged the borrowers’ signatures. In some scenarios, the persons he claimed had been the borrowers did not even very own the residences that had been purportedly used as collateral. Avergoon built pretend personal loan agreements, Deeds of Rely on, mortgage loan Notes, and other official-wanting files, and he even developed fake notary stamps and San Diego County Recorder’s Office environment markings to make the paperwork show up authentic. As soon as once again, Avergoon utilized new investor cash to make occasional payments to his victims, to make it show up that the “loans” were being performing. But in real truth, he diverted the money to his possess use and the “investments” ended up worthless.
Avergoon was indicted in August 2019 and apprehended in Latvia. He was extradited to the United States in November 2019 and has remained in custody considering that his extradition and original visual appearance in federal courtroom in San Diego.
DEFENDANT Situation Quantity 19cr2955-BAS
Alexander Avergoon Age: 46 San Diego
Wire Fraud, in violation of Title 18, USC 1343
Optimum Penalty: Twenty decades in jail
Aggravated Identification Theft, in violation of Title 18, USC 1028A
Most Penalty: Two decades minimum consecutive phrase in jail
Money Laundering, in violation of Title 18, USC 1956(a)(1)(B)(i)
Highest Penalty: Twenty years in prison
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Inside Profits Support – Prison Investigations