Federal Grand Jury Indicts Ethel Businessman For Investor Fraud Scheme Worth Over $3.5 Million
BATON ROUGE, LA – United States Attorney Walt Green announced today the unsealing of an Indictment against BRYAN LEE ADDINGTON, age 55, of Ethel, Louisiana. The Indictment charges the defendant with five counts of mail fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341, and one count of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A. The Indictment also includes a forfeiture allegation that will require the defendant to forfeit the proceeds of his fraud if convicted.
The Indictment alleges that the defendant engaged in a scheme to defraud numerous victim-investors from January 2010 through at least April 2016. According to the Indictment, the defendant solicited and obtained over $3.5 million from his victims. To induce the victims into investing with him, ADDINGTON falsely represented to his victims that their money would be invested in real estate and land, insurance products, and stock, and would be used to purchase insurance policies. He allegedly represented that such investments were safe and would yield good returns and that they would, in some cases, bring guaranteed returns. Meanwhile, according to the Indictment, ADDINGTON allegedly hid from his victims that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority had permanently barred him from acting as a broker or otherwise associating with firms that sell securities to the public.
According to the Indictment, once ADDINGTON was in control of the victim investors’ funds, he diverted a substantial portion of the funds to his own personal use, the use of others, and to make payments to other victim investors. Examples of his personal use including spending at Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Galatoire’s Bistro, Victoria’s Secret, Disney Resort, various casinos, and thousands of dollars in purchases of Louisiana State University athletic tickets.
This matter is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division, and the Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions, in coordination with the Louisiana Department of Insurance and Louisiana State Police. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ryan Rezaei and Ryan Crosswell.
NOTE: An indictment is an accusation by the Grand Jury. The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless adjudicated guilty at trial or through a guilty plea.