Saying he was tied to Italian royalty and claiming to be a certified public accountant, Richard Glenn Dunham, 56, of Corona del Mar, pleaded guilty to charges of mail fraud and helping to prepare false tax returns for the now-defunct DFJ Italia.
Prosecutors say that Durham convinced people such as former Los Angeles Rams football players Eric Dickerson and Duval Love, and people from Hollywood to invest in DJF by claiming links to Italian royalty and the European economic community, the Associated Press reported. Investors lost upwards of $45 million, the U.S. Attorney said in a statement.
Durham now owns RDA Financial Corp. He will appear in federal court in the next month and could spend up to eight years in federal prison if convicted on the two charges, the AP reported.
As a fraudulent CPA, prosecutors say Dunham let DFJ use him as its accountant who would certify the accuracy of financial statements and who gave the company a letter calling DFJ a “safe investment” that would offer excellent returns. This was despite the fact that he had not done any financial reviews to back up the claims, prosecutors said.
Stephen A. Ceparano, 63, a certified public accountant from Northport, N.Y., pleaded guilty to conspiracy, mail fraud and wire fraud for helping provide false financial documents to the operators of DFJ, the AP reported, adding that he is expected to be sentenced later this year.