During a three-year period to May 2009 and under the guise that he was an investment genius, Gordon A. Driver operated a clever Ponzi scheme that stole $14.3 million from more than 100 people in the U.S. and Canada.
Driver–who lives in Las Vegas and had operations in Mission Viejo and ties to Santa Ana–was terrific at duping investors with false documents and fancy talk that boasted of 43 percent monthly returns, but was in reality a horrible trader who lost money in 94 percent of his moves.
This week, a federal judge in Southern California sided with the United States Futures Trading Commission and handed Driver a whopping bill for his shenanigans: $41.4 million.
U.S. District Court Judge Otis D. Wright, II ordered Driver–who
used a majority of the money he stole for a lavish lifestyle that
included Las Vegas casino gambling missions–to pay $9.6 million in
restitution plus a $31.8 million civil penalty.
Wright isn't messing
around. He expects all of the money to be paid by July 22. I'm guessing the
judge is unhappy that Driver continues to show no remorse.
Driver, who was represented unsuccessfully by celebrity defense lawyer Mark Geragos, operated Axcess Automation, LLC and Axcess Fund Management LLC.
I know what you're thinking. A remorseless white collar criminal steals $14 million and never got arrested or spent a minute in jail or an hour in prison. How does that happen?
CNN-featured investigative reporter R. Scott Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; obtained one of the last exclusive prison interviews with Charles Manson disciple Susan Atkins; won inclusion in Jeffrey Toobin’s The Best American Crime Reporting for his coverage of a white supremacist’s senseless murder of a beloved Vietnamese refugee; launched multi-year probes that resulted in the FBI arrests and convictions of the top three ranking members of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department; and gained praise from New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing entrenched Southern California law enforcement corruption.