Disbarred California Attorney Sentenced To Five And A Half Years In Prison For Long-Running Multi-Million-Dollar Investment Fraud Scheme | USAO-SDNY

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that DEREK JONES, a disbarred California attorney, was sentenced today to five and a half years in prison.  JONES ran fraudulent investment funds, including real-estate investment firms and a venture-capital firm, through which he defrauded investors of over $8.6 million over a period of more than seven years, from at least 2012 through 2019.  JONES previously pled guilty to one count of wire fraud and was sentenced today before United States District Judge Loretta A. Preska.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “When investors purchase shares in real-estate funds and other investment funds, those investors have every right to expect that the people promoting and selling those investments are treating them honestly and telling them the truth about their investments.  Today, Derek Jones, a disbarred attorney, was held accountable for violating this right over an extended period of time, selling interests in real estate that he falsely claimed to own and defrauding his investors out of millions of dollars.”

According to the Indictment, statements made in court, and other publicly filed documents in this case:

From at least 2012 through at least 2019, JONES deceived his victims into investing in various companies and investment funds that he controlled, including purported real-estate development and investment firms using variations of the names “BlueRidge,” “Living City,” and “Atiswin,” and the purported venture capital firm Realize Holdings (“Realize”).  

In fraudulently inducing victims to invest in his funds, JONES routinely lied to investors, including in glossy brochures and legal documents that contained misrepresentations about real estate that JONES falsely claimed was owned or otherwise controlled by BlueRidge, Living City, and Atiswin.  For example, JONES falsely told investors and prospective investors that BlueRidge was developing a “resort village” on land it…

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