April 14, 2021
The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of California Department of Justice recently announced a 15-year sentence for San Diego business leader, restauranteur, and real estate mogul, Gina Champion-Cain, for conducting a $350 million Ponzi scheme and obstructing justice by hiding and destroying evidence from federal investigators.
Champion-Cain pleaded guilty in July 2020, admitting to raising over $350 million from investors by promising to use funds raised to provide loans to business owners who were attempting to acquire California liquor licenses. Instead, Champion-Cain and co-conspirators used funds from new investors to pay back previous investors and embezzled funds to support her lavish lifestyle and support her other failing businesses. Champion-Cain hid the Ponzi scheme by fabricating documents, forging signatures, and using fake email accounts to respond to investors that attempted to double-check their investments with third parties.
When Champion-Cain was under federal investigation, she attempted to obstruct the investigation by instructing her employees to destroy emails; avoid using electronic files and communications; altering financial records in an attempt to conceal the Ponzi scheme payments; shred paper records; and solicit a $150 million investment in a last ditch effort to hide the scheme.
Gina Champion-Cain was sentenced to 15 years in prison for orchestrating this scheme. Crispin Torres, the former CFO of one of Champion-Cain’s businesses was sentenced to four years in prison for using investors funds in this Ponzi scheme to support Champion-Cain’s other businesses.
In the U.S. Department of Justice press release on March 31, 2021, the Acting U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman committed to continuing to aggressively prosecute those who “swindle, deceive, and bring financial devastation to victims.”
If you invested and lost money in Gina Champion-Cain’s liquor license Ponzi scheme at the advice of a broker, attorney, insurance agent, financial advisor, or CPA, you may be able to recovery your losses. Since 1998, the experienced attorneys at Chapman LLC have been fighting for victims of investment fraud and broker misconduct. Call us today at 1-877-410-8172 for a free consultation.