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HomeNewsCity NewsIrvine Resident Conspires in $50 Million Internet Investment Scheme

Irvine Resident Conspires in $50 Million Internet Investment Scheme

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56-year-old Irvine resident Allen Giltman pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud on Jan. 5. 

Giltman, alongside co-conspirators, reportedly solicited $50 million from investors through at least 150 fraudulent websites since 2012. These websites were meant to mirror the image of familiar financial institutions.  

According to court documents, these websites achieved their legitimate appearance by displaying the names and logos of financial institutions, claiming association with regulatory bodies such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The sites also allegedly stated that deposits were FDIC-insured and included FDIC and FINRA member identification numbers. 

Most victims engaged with the websites for investment opportunities, such as purchasing certificates of deposit (CDs) that were advertised with high return rates. In these schemes, Giltman would reportedly pose as a FINRA broker-dealer and process the “deals” by walking victims through the wiring process for the purchase of their CDs. 

To protect his identity and digital footprint, Giltman allegedly utilized virtual private networks, prepaid gift cards and prepaid phones. Furthermore, to legitimize the transactions, Giltman produced internet ads and fake invoices. 

The wired funds would, in turn, be transferred to both domestic and international bank accounts. Some international accounts were located in Russia, Georgia, Hong Kong and Turkey.

The schemes are expected to have impacted approximately 70 victims over an eight-year period, with some victims residing in New Jersey, where Giltman was charged.

Giltman faces a 25 year sentence and up to $500,000 in fines alongside a civil complaint filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 

Erin Boshers is a City News Staff Writer for the winter 2022 quarter. She can be reached at eboshers@uci.edu.