$1M Ponzi Scheme Provides Guilty Plea for Promoter of Concerts

October 11, 2011 by  
Filed under Bail Bond Communities

Promoter of Christian Rock Concerts Pleads Guilty to Federal Wire Fraud Charge in $1 Million Ponzi Scheme

SANTA ANA, CA-The owner and operator of a Downey firm has pleaded guilty to wire fraud in a scheme that collected nearly $1 million from victims who were falsely promised that their cash would be used to host Christian rock concerts.

Lauren Baumann, 43, of Downey, the owner of Stewardship Estates, LLC, pleaded guilty late yesterday prior to United States District Judge Josephine S. Tucker.

Baumann testified today that she solicited loans from investors with claims that the money would be used to finance “battle of the bands” events featuring Christian rock bands and other music groups that would create profits from ticket sales and company sponsorships. In some cases, Baumann told investors that the funds would also be utilized to purchase, refurbish, and resell houses.

Actually, a substantial portion of the investors’ funds was used to pay earlier investors, who thought they had been receiving profits from Baumann’s venture. Baumann also utilized investor funds to pay roughly $10,000 a month to rent a historic mansion in Downey and to pay private school tuition for her children, among other personal expenses.

As a result of Baumann’s scheme, much more than two dozen victims in Orange County and Los Angeles counties suffered losses totaling nearly $560,000.

When she pleaded guilty, Baumann also admitted that she failed to disclose to investors that she had been convicted of securities fraud in 1999 in a Texas federal court and that she had been discovered liable in a related civil fraud action brought by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

The charge of wire fraud carries a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. Following the entry of Baumann’s guilty plea late Monday afternoon, Judge Tucker scheduled a sentencing hearing for December 12.

The criminal case against Baumann will be the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Get in touch with:
Assistant United States Lawyer Joshua M. Robbins
Santa Ana branch workplace
(714) 338-3538

It’s not clear whether Baumann had been issued a bail bonds for this particular trial, but if she had, the bail would be around $100,000. On top of the bail there would most likely be a pc 1275.1 hold on her. This is: (a) Bail, pursuant to this chapter, shall not be accepted unless a judge or magistrate finds that no portion of the consideration, pledge, security, deposit, or indemnification paid, given, made, or promised for its execution was feloniously obtained. Meaning, the funds that will be put up for the bail must come from legal sources that can be verified.

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