People v. Cockrell, Fleischer, Ross, and Bromberg (Grand Theft Securities Fraud, Tax Evasion, Money Laundering)
Four convicted and sentenced in multi-million dollar securities fraud scam
Frank Cockrell and Wayne Fleischer orchestrated a securities fraud scam based on Cockrell's claimed net worth of $225 million which was predicated on worthless oil and gas royalties. Based upon this alleged wealth, large life insurance policies with advance premiums of hundreds of thousands of dollars were paid to Cockrell's co-conspirators.
Individual victims invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in a construction surety bonding company which never received a license to operate and was subject to numerous lawsuits and cease and desist orders across the country. Investors' funds were used to finance Cockrell's lavish lifestyle and were split among the co-conspirators. Stephen Ross, a financial advisor working for Cockrell, made material misrepresentations and omissions and convinced some victims to invest approximately $430,000 in the scam. Clayton Bromberg, a CPA working with Cockrell, also convinced victims to invest by making material misrepresentations and omissions.
A jury convicted Cockrell on multiple counts of grand theft, tax evasion, unlawful sale of securities and one count of money laundering. Cockrell was sentenced to ten years in state prison and ordered to pay $2.3 million in restitution to individual victims and the insurance companies. Wayne Fleischer, the number two man in the securities fraud scam, at first contended that he was not competent to stand trial, but later pled guilty to securities fraud, money laundering and grand theft. He was sentenced to seven years and eight months in state prison and was ordered to pay more than $2.3 million in restitution. Stephen Ross was found guilty of conspiracy to commit grand theft, grand theft and securities fraud by another jury and was sentenced to five years in state prison and ordered to pay more than $430,000 in restitution. Co-conspirator Clayton Bromberg pled guilty to multiple charges of grand theft and securities fraud. Defendant Bromberg was placed on felony probation, was ordered to serve one year in jail, and was ordered to pay over $1.5 million in restitution.