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Case Number: 2:21-cr-00099
Judge: Mark C. Scarsi
Court: United States District Court for the Central District of California (Los Angeles County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles
Description: Los Angles, California criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant charged with fraud.
Ze’Shawn Stanley Campbell, 35, from Fontana, was accused of defrauding eight women - some of whom he developed romantic relationships with - and nine businesses and then laundering the proceeds.
Campbell pleaded guilty in October 2022 to one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering.
From April 2014 to April 2020, Campbell convinced his victims that he was reliable by befriending them and starting romantic relationships with them. To enhance his purported creditworthiness in their eyes, he told them lies, such as falsely saying that he had millions of dollars and operated successful businesses, including McDonald’s franchises, a security company, and a chain of gyms in Texas.
Campbell also boosted his stature with the victims by falsely telling them he was a successful investor in real estate and Bitcoin, as well as claiming he had served as a Navy SEAL in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Once he convinced his victims of his bona fides, Campbell would induce them to provide money and property to him, claiming that he would use the victims’ money and property to support his businesses, fund investments made on the victims’ behalf and pay his purported medical bills. Rather than using the victims’ money as he promised he would, he instead used it to pay personal expenses and to buy luxury items for himself.
For example, in December 2017, one victim wrote Campbell a check for $61,452, which Campbell deposited via interstate wires into a Wells Fargo bank account he controlled. Campbell promised the victim that the money would be used for an investment in Bitcoin on the victim’s behalf. Instead, Campbell spent the money on himself, including by making payments on a BMW and a Mercedes-Benz that he had leased in a different victim’s name.
Campbell caused 17 different victims, including eight individuals and nine companies to suffer significant financial losses.
Judge Scarsi found that the losses caused by Campbell’s criminal conduct exceeded $550,000. He will set a hearing to determine the exact amount of restitution that will be owed to the victims.
“[Campbell] is a con man and a predator,” prosecutors argued in a sentencing memorandum. “He develops romantic relationships with his victims and then, exploiting the intimacy and trust he cultivates, lies to them to get their money…But the harms [Campbell] caused go further than these significant financial losses. The harms include the serious emotional damage…which [Campbell] inflicted on his victims. Most of [Campbell’s] individual victims were women he began dating, encouraging their affection only to exploit it and leave their self-esteem, as well as their finances, in tatters.”
The FBI investigated this matter.
Assistant United States Attorney Ranee A. Katzenstein, Chief of the Major Frauds Section, prosecuted this case.
18:1343 WIRE FRAUD
18:1343 WIRE FRAUD
18:1343 WIRE FRAUD
18:1957 ENGAGING IN MONETARY TRANSACTIONS IN PROPERTY DERIVED FROM SPECIFIED UNLAWFUL ACTIVITY
18:1344(2) BANK FRAUD
18:1028A(a)(1) AGGRAVATED IDENTITY THEFT
Outcome: Defendant was sentenced to 120 months in prison.
03/28/2023 82 NOTICE TO FILER OF DEFICIENCIES in Electronically Filed Document RE: Plaintiff's Miscellaneous Document, 81 . The following error(s) was/were found: Incorrect event selected. Correct event to be used is: Exhibit. Other error(s) with document(s): NOTE: To assist in a search for correct events, please use the "SEARCH" option for a "key word" to narrow the selection process. In response to this notice, the Court may: (1) order an amended or correct document to be filed; (2) order the document stricken; or (3) take other action as the Court deems appropriate. You need not take any action in response to this notice unless and until the Court directs you to do so. (lc) (Entered: 03/28/2023)