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Lawyer Who Pleaded Guilty to $20 Million Securities Fraud Gets 7-Year Sentence

Posted May 22, 2012 3:02 PM CDT
By Stephanie Francis Ward

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Jeanne Rowzee, an Irvine, Calif., securities lawyer who pleaded guilty to taking more than $20 million from securities investors, recently received an 87-month federal sentence.

Authorities say she carried out the scam with James Halstead, whom she previously represented on a securities criminal defense matter, the Los Angeles Times reports. According to the article, the pair promised investors they’d put money into securities known as “private investment in public equity,” or PIPEs. Victims were told their investment would return as much as 35 percent in three months.

Instead Rowzee, a University of Virginia School of Law graduate, and Halstead spent much of the money on themselves, the Times reports, and also used some of it for fake investment return payments to others. Rowzee, who pled guilty in 2008, is slated to begin serving her sentence June 15, the Orange County Weekly's Navel Gazing blog reports.

Halstead, who authorities say was the salesperson in the scam, also pled guilty and is currently serving a 10-year sentence. Investors previously won a $66 million judgement against Rowzee and Halstead, but have said that they have little hope of collecting it.

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