Jul 29, 2014

Santa Monica Man Convicted of Obstructing SEC Probe

Judge finds attorney David Tamman guilty of conspiracy and of altering documents in case involving Ponzi scheme run by Beverly Hills investment fund manager.

A former Century City attorney was found guilty Tuesday of obstructing a Securities and Exchange Commission probe into whether one of the law firm's clients was running a Ponzi scheme.

David Tamman, 45, of Santa Monica, was convicted following a bench trial on 10 federal counts, including conspiring to obstruct justice, altering documents, being an accessory after the fact to co-defendant John Farahi's mail and  securities fraud crimes, and aiding and abetting Farahi's false testimony before the SEC, prosecutors said.

Fahari, a former Beverly Hills investment fund manager who gave financial advice on a Farsi-language radio show, previously pleaded guilty to felony charges stemming from a Ponzi scheme that swindled victims out of at least $7 million. He is expected to be sentenced Dec. 17.

"A case like this reveals the lengths to which those committing frauds will go to conceal their criminal deeds,'' said U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr., whose office prosecuted the case in Los Angeles federal court. "It also demonstrates that we will go to equal lengths to overcome these efforts at concealment and cast a bright light on fraudulent schemes that threaten investors and others in today's difficult financial environment."

Tamman is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 11.  

Both men were named last year in a 41-count indictment accusing Farahi of making false statements to Troubled Asset Relief Program-funded banks and duping investors into believing that their money would be used to purchase corporate bonds backed by the TARP program, according to the U.S. Attorney's

The indictment also charged Tamman, who served as corporate counsel for Farahi's New Point Financial Services  investment firm, with conspiring with Farahi to obstruct the SEC investigation into the scheme.

When the SEC began investigating in April 2009, Farahi and Tamman tried to conceal the fraud by altering documents, lying to the agency and removing incriminating documents from investor files, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office

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