Jacques Poujade, a 63-year-old man in Irvine, California, pleaded guilty in late July 2023 to one count of securities fraud. He is scheduled for sentencing on October 30, 2023, where he is facing the maximum statutory sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
Businessman Pleads Guilty to Fraud
Poujade, the owner and CFO of Tri-Emerald Financial Group, admitted to using Tri-Emerald to fund loans as a mortgage banker with the intention of holding the loans for resale to financial institutions as investments. However, the company and its securities were never registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
For five years, Poujade sold unregistered securities to one victim by lying and stating that Tri-Emerald was about to go public, and once it did, the victim would receive a high return on their investment. The victim was encouraged to buy shares in Tri-Emerald for $10 a share, which would be worth over $100 a share after the company went public. Poujade further inflated the worth of Tri-Emerald by convincing the victim that his company would be worth a billion dollars in the next 16 months. In total, Poujade fraudulently obtained over $5.2 million from the victim, some of which he used to fund his personal life.
Poujade also admitted to defrauding another victim and his investment group of about $915,000 by convincing them to buy 30-day promissory notes issued by another one of his companies, LendPlus Holdings. When the 30-day term ended, he rolled the victims' funds over into the next month instead of paying them out.
How a Skilled Attorney Can Help
Securities and investment fraud charges must be addressed immediately. These types of cases are incredibly complicated and nuanced. Working with a skilled attorney is the only way to ensure you are not unnecessarily punished. If you or someone you love has been accused of defrauding their investors, Attorney Vitaly Sigal of Sigal Law Group can help. Call 818-325-0571 today or schedule a free consultation online.