Palm Desert Man Arrested in Stock Scheme that Targeted Nearly 100 Elderly Victims across U.S. and Allegedly Caused over $1 Million in Losses
SANTA ANA, California – A Palm Desert man who is accused of running a stock investment scheme that allegedly defrauded more than 90 victims out of more than $1 million has been arrested on federal fraud charges.
Robert Mark Seibert, 64, was arrested in Bermuda Dunes Wednesday afternoon by FBI agents.
The arrest of Seibert was announced today by Acting United States Attorney Sandra R. Brown and Danny Kennedy, the FBI’s Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the Los Angeles Field Office.
Seibert, who allegedly used the alias “John Grey” when communicating with his victims, was arrested pursuant to a 16-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury on August 16.
Seibert had an initial appearance yesterday afternoon in United States District Court in Santa Ana, where a United States Magistrate Judge ordered him held without bond. Seibert pleaded not guilty to the charges in the indictment, and a trial was scheduled for October 17.
According to the indictment, Seibert operated his scheme through a series of businesses, including Universal Stock Transfer, National Discount Marketers, and New Global Productions. Seibert allegedly offered to sell victims stock in other companies – Intertech Solutions; Radio Shack; New Global Energy; SnackHealthy, Inc.; Uranium Energy Group; and Organovo Holdings – often at a discount from current market prices. After victims made investments, Seibert issued certificates as evidence of stock ownership and advised that if they did not earn a profit, he would return their money within 30 days.
The indictment alleges that Seibert did not hold or control any stock in other companies for sale, the victims’ money was not used to purchase stock, and they did not receive their money back after 30 days – or any time thereafter.
Investigators allege that Seibert defrauded at least 90 victims, who collectively sent more than $1 million to the defendant. According to the indictment, victims either mailed or wired amounts ranging from $2,000 to $21,000 to the companies operated by Seibert.
The indictment charges Seibert with 14 counts of mail fraud and two counts of wire fraud.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
The maximum statutory penalty for each of the 16 counts in the indictment is 20 years in federal prison.
This investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gregory W. Staples of the Santa Ana Branch Office.