BEVERLY HILLS—On Tuesday, May 23, a federal grand jury handed down a five-count indictment accusing, Mark Roy Anderson, 68, of Beverly Hills of defrauding investors out of $9 million.
Anderson, who was on house arrest for prior convictions was arrested on May 9, following a criminal complaint by prosecutors.
Anderson allegedly had investors wire money to him to purchase fictitious hemp farm shares in an operation, he named, Harvest Farm Group.
The following statement came directly from a May 23, press release by the Department of Justice (DOJ):
“To induce the victim-investors to invest in Harvest Farm Group, defendant Anderson falsely represented that, through Harvest Farm Group: (i) he owned and operated a hemp farm in Kern County, California; (ii) he had already completed successful and profitable harvests of hemp from the farm; and (iii) he was using his own machinery and equipment to convert the hemp into CBD isolate and/or Delta 8, a psychoactive substance that, like CBD isolate, could be used in consumer products ranging from olive oil to body cream,” according to the indictment, which goes on to allege that none of those claims was true.
Anderson allegedly attempted to maintain a veneer of trustworthiness by taking steps to assure investors Harvest Farms Group was legitimate and he “was not the ‘Mark Roy Anderson’ with multiple prior fraud convictions.” 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.”
This all transpired while Anderson was serving time on a 135-month prison sentence from May 2012.
According to a press release by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), in addition to his aforementioned prison sentence, Anderson was a disbarred U.S. Attorney. He was court-ordered to pay $9.5 million in restitution to those he embezzled from in a fake oil venture scheme he was running. Anderson was 57 years old at the time.
Judge Percy Anderson who presided over the 2012 fraud scheme case publicly referred to Mark Roy Anderson as, “A professional conman.” He had prior convictions against him that dated back to the 1980s.
Mark Roy Anderson is being held without bond in this case. His arraignment for the May 23 indictment is scheduled for May 30 in U.S. District Court.
If convicted, each count of wire fraud alleged in his indictment carries a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
The FBI is investigating this case. The Assistant U.S. Attorney, Kerry L. Quinn of the Major Frauds Section is prosecuting the case.