SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A man who posed as a real estate attorney and stole more than $3 million from people who invested in properties that he said would be developed and sold at a profit was sentenced Friday to nearly 10 years in state prison.
Timothy Mark Brachmanis, 44, was also ordered by Superior Court Judge Frederic Link to pay more than $3.7 million in restitution.
Brachmanis pleaded guilty in August to three counts of grand theft and a tax code violation and admitted an aggravated white-collar crime enhancement.
"Today's sentencing sends a clear message to those who would defraud the public through deceit and false claims," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Daphne Hearn. "The FBI and our law enforcement partners will aggressively pursue you and stop you from lining your pockets at the expense of others."
Brachmanis convinced his 11 victims that he would be an equal partner in some of the investments, but he instead used their money only as a down payment. Brachmanis diverted investors' money to other projects and in some cases took the money for himself, prosecutors said.
The case was the result of a joint investigation with the San Diego County District Attorney's Office, the FBI and the California Franchise Tax Board.