CPA Claims Ties to Italian Royalty as Part of $45M Fraud

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.

You may like these other stories...

Being an accountant doesn't mean you're giving investment advice to clients. However, at tax time, accountants often have to deal with the results of any investment advice clients obtained during the year—the...
Anti Burger Kings: Seven US companies shrinking tax the old-fashioned wayBurger King’s decision to combine with Canadian donut shop Tim Hortons is renewing controversy over the lengths some US companies will go to...
A new report released on Tuesday found that the US airline industry receives nearly $1 billion in tax breaks annually from states for jet fuel.The study, conducted by UNITE HERE International Union, a labor union that...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Aug 28
Excel spreadsheets are often akin to the American Wild West, where users can input anything they want into any worksheet cell. Excel's Data Validation feature allows you to restrict user inputs to selected choices, but there are many nuances to the feature that often trip users up.
Sep 9
In this session we'll discuss the types of technologies and their uses in a small accounting firm office.
Sep 11
This webcast will include discussions of commonly-applicable Clarified Auditing Standards for audits of non-public, non-governmental entities.
Sep 26
In this jam-packed presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA will give you a crash-course in creating spreadsheet-based dashboards. A dashboard condenses large amounts of data into a compact space, yet enables the end user to easily drill down into details when warranted.