A Southern California businessman swindled more than $1.15 million from investors and hoped in March that he’d serve no more than 48 months in federal prison for his crime spree that robbed 90 individuals of their savings.
Robert Mark Seibert, 66, wanted sympathy because of his various medical ailments, loving support of family members and the claimed fear that he would follow his father’s fatal demise while in his 60s.
But federal prosecutors inside Orange County’s Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse weren’t swayed; they sought a stiffer prison sentence because he sold fake stock in companies and converted that money into personal use from 2013 to 2017, when he was arrested in Palm Desert by FBI special agents.
“Underscoring the seriousness of the offense is the fact that this defendant has been engaged in securities-related fraud since 1987, when he was 34 years old,” Assistant United States Attorney Greg Staples wrote in a pre-sentencing memo. “His prior convictions and prison terms did not deter him from committing the offenses in this case. . . The government does not believe that the defendant’s age or medical condition warrant a sentence of less than 63 months.”
Seibert, who used the fake name John Gray in his scheme, blamed his criminal mess on longtime addictions to hard liquor and Xanax.
In late March, U.S. District Court Judge Josephine L. Staton agreed with Staples’ punishment recommendation and ordered full restitution to the victims.
When Seibert is released from custody, he’ll undergo supervised probation for three years, according to Staton’s order.
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; earned six dozen other reporting awards; obtained one of the last exclusive prison interviews with Charles Manson disciple Susan Atkins; featured in Jeffrey Toobin’s The Best American Crime Reporting; and hailed by two New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing entrenched Southern California law enforcement corruption.