Fraudulent Facebook and Twitter scheme lands Montecito man in jail

February 8, 2018

FBI agents arrested a Montecito resident on Wednesday for allegedly running several fraudulent investment schemes, one related to Facebook and Twitter stock. [Cal Coast Times]

Efstratios “Elias” Argyropoulos, 71, operated two Santa Barbara investment services firms – Prima Capital and Prima Ventures – and engaged in two fraudulent schemes by soliciting investments in companies such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as investments in a fictitious estate settlement, according to the 21-count indictment unsealed after his arrest

In the first alleged scheme, Argyropoulos told clients their funds were used to purchase securities, including pre-IPO shares of Facebook and Twitter. Instead of purchasing the stocks, Argyropoulos allegedly diverted the investor funds for other uses, such as day-trading in stocks unrelated to the promised investments and personal expenses, such as his mortgage, car payments and casino debts. From Oct. 2010 through Oct. 2015, Argyropoulos solicited $4,947,360 from investors victimized in this scheme.

In the second scheme, Argyropoulos allegedly marketing shares in an investment known as the “Laurence Miles Giant Estate Settlement,” which was also called the “Laurence Miles Trust.” Argyropoulos falsely told investors that the beneficiary of the Trust was a very ill woman who needed medical treatments and was the heir to a large estate, which was worth more than $1 billion, according to the indictment.

According to the bogus story, the estate was tied up in probate proceedings, and money was needed to cover the heir’s medical expenses. Once the probate proceedings were finished, Argyropoulos allegedly told victims, the assets would become available for transfer, at which point, investors would receive a large return – as much as 1,000 percent. In truth, there was no estate to be settled and no “ill woman” with large medical bills. According to the indictment, Argyropoulos’ investors lost over $760,000 in the scam.

In addition, the indictment charge Argyropoulos with eight counts of criminal contempt. These counts allege that Argyropoulos’ solicitation of investments in the Laurence Miles Trust violated the terms of an injunction that Argyropoulos consented to in a suit brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which was based on the fraudulent Facebook and Twitter scheme. The injunction prohibited Argyropoulos from selling fraudulent investments and acting as an unlicensed broker.

If convicted of the 13 fraud charges in the indictment, Argyropoulos would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for each count. There is no statutory maximum sentence for the eight contempt charges.

At his arraignment Wednesday afternoon in United States District Court, Argyropoulos pleaded not guilty, was ordered released on a $300,000 bond, and was ordered to stand trial on March 20.







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Ted Slanders

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Efstratios Argyropoulos was obviously not a true Christian, and if his prison sentencing wasn’t enough if convicted, he will unfortunately spend eternity in the sulfur lakes of Hell.

“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. YOU CANNOT SERVE GOD AND MONEY.” (Luke 16:10-13)

“But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, AND ALL LIARS, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

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kayaknut

This is illegal yet a even bigger ponzi scheme continues and steals more money from taxpayers, the public employees pension system, go figure.

SLO_Children_at_play

I think CalPERS and CalSTRS would have lost less money by investing in one of Mr. Argyropoulos’ schemes, than they did by switching their portfolios to politically correct, green energy, and clean tehnology investments. But hey as long as the Progressives are in charge of California, we’ll just keep dropping money into that bottomless pit of left-wing whims. We’ll always have the taxpayer to bail us out. If Mr. Argyropoulos really wanted a steady paycheck for doing nothing, he should have gone to work for the State.

Ted Slanders

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kayaknut,

Uh, what do you say when Conservatives are on the “Employees Pension Plan” that steals money from the taxpayers? Should said faction resign their jobs post haste so as not to be hypocritical to the ponzi scheme of mention?

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kayaknut

The whole system needs changed not just for those in the one party or the other.

SLO_Children_at_play

The “system” became defective on the Progressive’s watch. This whole CalPERS mess was entirely caused by PERS devesting all of it’s money from investments that were not “politically correct.” Once PERS and CalSTRS started investing in only “socially responsible, environmentally sensitive, and politically correct” companies and technologies; the whole thing shit the bed and started losing money. So yes, this is the fault of one political party. CalPERS should be operated like a responsible financial investment company, not like some left-wing political action lobby.