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Irvine Banker Sentenced to Over 5 Years for $5 Million Mortgage Scam

Irvine Banker Sentenced to Over 5 Years for $5 Million Mortgage Scam

U.S. Courthouse at 350 W. 1st Street in Los Angeles. (Google Maps/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)

City News Service

City News Service

10/31/2023

Updated: 10/31/2023

LOS ANGELES—The owner of an Orange County mortgage firm was sentenced Oct. 30 to more than five years behind bars for fleecing an investor of more than $5 million in a fraudulent stock scheme.
Jacques Poujade, 63, of Irvine, was sentenced to 63 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Mark C. Scarsi, who also ordered him to pay nearly $6.2 million in restitution, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Mr. Poujade pleaded guilty in July to one federal count of securities fraud.
Mr. Poujade, the owner and chief financial officer of the Lake Forest-based Tri-Emerald Financial Group, sold unregistered securities by lying about an impending initial public offering by the company he claimed would boost the stock’s value from $10 a share to $100 a share, according to his plea agreement filed in Los Angeles federal court.
From February 2015 to May 2020, Mr. Poujade sold unregistered securities to a victim investor by telling a series of lies, including about the timing, and likelihood of Tri-Emerald’s initial public offering and the resulting share price.
Mr. Poujade falsely promised that Tri-Emerald was a pre-IPO opportunity that would provide high returns when the company soon went public on Nasdaq. In fact, Tri-Emerald had not completed the necessary steps to undertake an IPO, including filling out the paperwork required by the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) or formally engaging the investment banks Mr. Poujade falsely told the victim he had engaged as underwriters.
Neither Tri-Emerald nor its securities were ever registered with the SEC.
“Particularly troubling is that in executing his scheme to defraud, [Mr. Poujade] ruthlessly preyed upon [the victim] to drain her of her entire life savings,” prosecutors argued in a sentencing memorandum. “[Mr. Poujade] not only conned [the victim] out of her money but he did so by betraying her trust after forging an intimate and faith based relationship with her.”
In total, Mr. Poujade fraudulently obtained about $5.25 million from the victim, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
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