An Agoura Hills man who used his business to defraud dozens of victims in a multi-million dollar investment scheme has been sentenced to seven years in federal prison.
Dean P. Gross, 50, was sentenced Tuesday afternoon by United States District Judge Stephen V. Wilson, who also ordered the defendant to pay restitution of approximately $15.4 million.
The sentencing of Gross was announced by United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. and Bill Lewis, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.
Gross, charged with operating the investment scheme between 2006 and 2009, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud on August 6, 2012. While running the scheme, he collected more than $35.8 million from approximately 39 investors.
Gross operated the scheme through his home business he called Bridon Entertainment. When recruiting investors, he falsely represented himself as a veteran of the advertising industry who had connections that allowed him to purchase advertising time and space at discounted rates.
He told his investors that their money would be used to purchase the advertising and that investment returns would be generated by the profitable resale of that advertising.
The investigation revealed that Gross never used investors’ money to buy or sell advertising and that he did not have relationships with the well-known corporations he said would buy the ads.
Investors were paid with money from new investors, and none of their returns were generated from advertising sales. The investigation indicated that 29 of the investors suffered $15.4 million in losses.
The investigation also revealed that Gross used millions of dollars in investor money to pay for personal expenses, including the construction of a vacation house.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
-- This information was obtained from a DOJ press release