Angel Bronsgeest, a 55 year old woman from Lake Forest, plead guilty on Monday to federal charges of being involved in a real estate scam that cost Southern California investors $3.5 million, according to the United States Attorney’s Office.
Bronsgeest admitted that she, along with Shawn Watkins, a 46 year old man from Utah, would allegedly solicit the victims at Orange County hotel seminars and ask them to invest in their company, The Equity Growth Group. The two claimed that their company managed hundreds of properties, generating income from their rents, which was used to buy new properties. The investors were told they would be getting interest payments and that their money was secured by collateral through filing deeds of property trusts.
“Investor money was not used to acquire new properties, nor was it secured by collateral, and many victims did not receive interest payments. In fact, money that was paid to some victims as purported interest or a return on their investment came from investments made by other victims,” the Attorney’s Office said in a statement.