A federal investigation of a company in Irvine that offers financial and insurance services has led to charges for three executives of the firm who have allegedly been found to have stolen investments totaling over $4 million from several elderly clients.
50-year-old Mehmet Fatih Biyikoglu is the CEO and founder of Five Star Financial Services, LLC, a financial management and insurance firm in Orange County. 58-year-old Anna Marie Holt serves as the company’s president and chief operating officer, and Ida Shaghoian, 38, was a sales agent who was also once married to Biyikoglu.
The company practices have been under investigation that has led to accusations against Biyikoglu, Holt, and Shaghoian purporting that between 2014 and 2015 they recruited clients, typically elderly people, and assured them that if they invested into certificates of deposit they would earn significant returns. Instead of taking the clients’ money and putting it into a JP Morgan Chase Bank CD account as promised, the suspects have been accused of taking over $4 million in investments and using the cash for personal items such as real estate, jewelry, and expensive automobiles.
The 11 alleged victims were reportedly issued counterfeit bank statements causing them to believe the transactions were legitimate, but when they attempted to access their funds they discovered that they were unable and that the accounts did not appear to exist according to Chase’s records.
One of the victims, a 70-year-old man, was allegedly told by Five Star that his $1.6 million investment would double within 12 months, but he has only been able to recover $20,000 to date. Another client, a 66-year-old recent widow with financial troubles, reportedly invested $45,871.63. Additional investors have allegedly lost their entire retirement funds.
On the morning of Thursday, May 3, FBI and IRS agents took Biyikoglu into custody. Holt was expected to turn herself in by that afternoon, and the two were scheduled for arraignments that day in Santa Ana.
Palm Desert native Shaghoian who is currently believed to be in Las Vegas has been assigned fugitive status while federal agents search for her.
Biyikoglu, Holt, and Shaghoian are all facing federal charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and if they are convicted they could be sentenced to up to 20 years in federal prison.
If you or someone you love is suspected of wire fraud, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.