California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi has announced the conviction of former life insurance agent Bassem Btadini, 51, also known as Bob Btadini. Btadini entered a no contest plea and was convicted of five misdemeanor counts of Corporations Code Section 25540(a), Sale of Securities without Qualification. Btadini was ordered to repay $397,287.00 in restitution, and $150,000 immediately, to four victims and was placed on a one-year probation.
Btadini was arrested in February 2003 after a three-year investigation conducted by the California Department of Insurance’s (CDI) Investigation Division. Btadini had been involved in plea discussions with the Los Angeles County District Attorneys office since the conclusion of his preliminary hearing in 2004.
CDI received several complaints from individuals who were solicited to purchase a living trust by Btadini. He eventually sold some of the individuals annuity products and later persuaded them to invest in nine-month promissory notes. The notes were not qualified for sale in the State of California as required by law. The notes were issued by several out of state “start up companies” seeking capital to maintain and expand their businesses. All of the companies defaulted on the notes and none of the investors received their promissory note investments back. All of the victims were senior citizens.
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