California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner said that William A. Sassman, 41, of Sacramento was arrested early Nov. 16 on 43 felony counts of grand theft, 40 felony counts of selling unauthorized securities, 16 felony burglary counts and one count of using a device, artifice, or scheme to defraud.
Sassman, a licensed life insurance agent, was booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail and bail was set at $3.2 million. He faces 20 years in prison if convicted on all 100 counts.
A joint California Department of Insurance (CDI) and California Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation revealed that more than half of the 35 known victims were senior citizens. The total loss of Sassman’s alleged five-year Ponzi scheme is estimated to be $6.3 million. The investigation continues to examine Sassman’s business practices and CDI investigators are asking for anyone who may have done business with Sassman to contact CDI at (800) 927-4357.
In Feb. 2006, the Department of Corporations issued a “desist and refrain” order to stop Sassman from selling unauthorized securities under various company names. Sassman’s alleged scheme involved the use of various company names, including Formulating Insurance Agency LLC, Formulating Investments, InTex LLC, and Systematic Management Services LLC.
Authorities allege that Sassman used misrepresentation and lies to convince clients to invest funds into various joint ventures that ultimately failed. Most of the money taken in had allegedly been used to support a lavish lifestyle, and investors have been kept at bay by getting small payments of money taken from new investors.
A bail hearing will be scheduled and Sassman will have to prove to the court the source of any funds used toward bail.
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