White-Collar Crime

Disbarred Lawyer Accused in Prior Fraud Cases Is Indicted in Alleged $9.5M Investment Scheme

During the 1980s, a young attorney named Mark Roy Anderson reportedly got some $50 million from around 2,000 investors to fund a business of purchasing, fixing up and selling National Historic Register properties, which often qualify for special federal tax benefits.

While he did buy a few buildings, such as the Carnegie Mansion in Millbrook, N.Y., Anderson allegedly stripped them of period fixtures and abandoned them rather than performing repairs, the Los Angeles Times reported in a lengthy article in 1991. Investors got nothing, says a court-appointed receiver.

Sentenced in 1991 to seven years in a federal mail fraud case, Anderson two years later had his conviction reversed due to being pressured into a plea bargain, another Los Angeles Times article reported contemporaneously. He was nevertheless disbarred by the state of Nevada in 1993 and convicted of mail fraud charges in 1994, according to a 2007 U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission litigation release.

Now Anderson, who lives in Beverly Hills, Calif., has been federally indicted in a claimed $9.5 million scheme in which he allegedly solicited money from investors to purchase shares in oil-related ventures and then used it on personal expenses and to purchase a now-shuttered Prego restaurant in Beverly Hills, the Metropolitan News-Enterprise reported. He is accused of fraud and money laundering in the Central District of California case.

The article doesn’t include any comment from Anderson or his attorney. A lawyer who represented him in the historic preservation real estate investment case said at the time that his client hadn’t intentionally done anything wrong, but was simply young and inexperienced at running such an enterprise.

Additional and related coverage:

Beverly Hills Courier: “Disbarred Attorney Charged in $9.5 Mil. Investment Scam”

FBI: “Disbarred Lawyer Indicted in $9.5 Million Investment Scam”

Forbes: “You Can’t Keep A Bad Man Down”

Updated at 12:49 p.m. to note Anderson’s 1994 mail fraud conviction.

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