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11 May – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – The United States Attorney…

11 May – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – The United States Attorney’s Office announced that a federal grand jury in Oakland indicted Edwin J. Torres, of Moraga, California, with nine counts of mail fraud and seven counts of wire fraud. According to the indictment, Mr. Torres, 46, was an independent representative for AIG Advisor Group, doing business as SunAmerica Securities in Moraga, California, from August 1998 to August 2004. During this period, Mr. Torres is alleged to have created a scheme to defraud by offering high-yielding Los Angeles and Orange County municipal bonds for investment and receiving clients’ payments for the purchase of those investments, when in fact he had no intention to purchase and did not purchase said municipal bonds.

Mr. Torres is alleged to have used his status as a member and past president of the Moraga Chamber of Commerce and a member and past president of the Moraga Rotary Club to engender trust and confidence in his victims. According to the indictment, Mr. Torres accepted more than $5,000,000 from more than 30 victims, but never purchased the municipal bonds. Instead, he allegedly provided counterfeit invoices on SunAmerica stationary falsely reflecting the purchase of the bonds. Torres is charged with depositing his clients’ funds into his personal bank account and keeping investors from complaining to law enforcement and SunAmerica by mailing and wire-transferring checks as purported interest payments on the bonds.

Torres turned himself in today and made his initial appearance before Magistrate Judge Wayne D. Brazil in Oakland today, and is currently out on bond. The defendant’s next scheduled appearance is at 10:00 a.m. on May 13, 2005 for the posting of property.

The maximum statutory penalty for each count of mail fraud and wire fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1341 and U.S.C. § 1343 respectively is 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, plus restitution. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the Court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. 3553. An indictment only contains allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, Mr. Torres must be presumed innocent unless and until convicted.

The prosecution is the result of a joint investigation by the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office and the FBI. Stephen Corrigan is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of legal tech Katie Glynn.

A copy of this press release and related court filings may be found on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can . Related court documents and information may be found on the U.S. District Court website at www.cand.uscourts.gov or on .

All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney’s Office should be directed to Luke Macaulay at (415) 436-6757 or by email at Luke.Macaulay3@usdoj.gov .

British MP George Galloway and his opponent the Daily Telegraph will leave no stone unturned to sort out what could be a spectacular libel case.