Seth Depiano Pleads Guilty to Real Estate Ponzi Scheme that Bilked Investors Out of $24 Million

Open grey, metal briefcase filled with stacks of one hundred dollar bills bound by a rubber band

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The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California announced in March 2018 that Seth Depiano pled guilty to mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering in connection with charges he operated a real estate Ponzi scheme.

A U.S. Attorney press release said Depiano raised money by falsely telling investors he would invest their funds in his residential real estate companies.  Those companies included The Rental Group, US Funding and Home Services LLC, and Draymond Homes.  According to court records, Depiano gave his victims fraudulent documents that advertised phony occupancy rates and falsely stated he owned properties.

Depiano did not invest the money he raised in real estate as he promised.  Instead, he used much of it to fund his personal expenses, gambling, and legal fees.  In typical-Ponzi fashion, he concealed his fraud by using money raised from new investors to pay existing investors what he claimed was rental income.

Depiano now awaits sentencing and faces up to 20 years in prison for mail and wire fraud, ten years for money laundering, and $250,000 in fines.

Investor Recovery Options

If you lost money because your broker or financial advisor recommended that you invested in Seth Depiano’s businesses—including The Rental Group, US Funding and Home Services LLC, and Draymond Homes—you may have a claim for your losses.

Rules and regulations require securities brokers and financial advisors to recommend only suitable investment products and strategies to their customers.  This also requires brokers and advisors to be knowledgeable of investments that they recommend to their customers.

Additionally, brokerage firms have a duty to closely monitor and supervise their brokers and advisors to ensure they recommend only suitable investments to their customers.  When brokers and firms breach these duties, their customers have a right to pursue claims for their losses.

If you believe you lost money in a Ponzi scheme recommended by your broker or advisor, contact Marquardt Law Office LLC to speak to a securities attorney specializing in fraud to receive a free case evaluation.

Marquardt Law Office LLC is a securities law firm located in Chicago, IL that represents clients nationwide who have suffered losses due to misconduct such as fraud and negligence.

Adam J. Marquardt

Adam Marquardt represents investors in securities litigation claims such as unsuitable investments, negligence, and fraud. He is dedicated to recovering financial losses for investors, primarily through FINRA arbitration. Adam’s background includes experience as a FINRA regulator, an accountant and auditor, and an attorney who recovered $8 million litigating cases involving fraudulent financial practices. Adam previously passed the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam and is an attorney licensed in Illinois.

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