Los Angeles – LAWFUEL – Yesterday afternoon, United States District Judge Manuel L Real sentenced Dante Marco Fala, of Canoga Park, to spend five years in federal prison for tax evasion.
As detailed in his plea agreement, Fala admitted that he owned and operated Harrison Asset Management, Inc., Money Asset Management, Inc., and Cash Asset Management, Inc., Fala’s asset management companies purported to offer investments into distressed debt portfolios. During 2002, Fala failed to report over $316,888 in taxable income to the Internal Revenue Service. As a result of his actions, Fala evaded over $105,981 in federal income tax.
In addition to prison, Fala was ordered by Judge Real to pay restitution of $16,925,026 to victims of a fraud scheme he promoted. Previously, Fala was indicted on 16 counts of mail fraud relating to his promotion of an investment fraud scheme. In pleading guilty to the tax charges, Fala also agreed that his sentence would take into consideration losses his fraud scheme caused his victims to suffer as well as the number of victims he defrauded. The mail fraud counts were dismissed at sentencing as a part of Fala’s plea agreement.
The charges specified in the indictment set forth that Fala operated Harrison Asset Management, Inc., Money Asset Management, Inc., and Cash Asset Management, Inc., as a part of a scheme he employed to defraud investors. Fala diverted funds from accounts of the asset management companies to other accounts he controlled and then used the money for his own personal purposes.
According to the indictment, Fala caused more than 1,000 victims to send $20 million to his asset management companies from 1999 through 2004. In a scheme to defraud investors, Fala and telemarketers working for him would call victims and offer investments in the debt portfolios they had acquired. As a part of the solicitation of investors, Fala and the telemarketers would claim that they had acquired distressed debt portfolios at deep discounts and that the asset management companies were highly successful, making profits and distributing dividends to investors from these supposed profits. In truth, the asset management companies collected far less on the debt portfolios they acquired than they had spent on their purchase, the companies used victim investors’ money for unauthorized expenses such as excessive and undisclosed commissions, expenditures were made to bring in additional victim funds, and money was used to allow Fala to engage in the day trading of stocks.
Judge Real ordered Fala to begin serving his prison sentence on June 9, 2008.
The case against Fala was brought by IRS – Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.