Camus pleaded guilty on December 12, 2008 to five counts of wire fraud and two counts of mail fraud. In pleading guilty, Camus admitted to devising a short-term money lending investment scheme in which she promised fixed returns and the return of the principle investment within a fixed period of time. Camus admitted making a number of false representations in conjunction with the investment scheme, including:
- The investors’ money would be used to help finance real estate transactions, such as payment of closing costs or down payment;
- The investors’ money would be used to pay medical costs;
- The investor would receive a fixed monthly interest payment on the investment;
- The investor would receive the return of the principle investment amount within a fixed period of time;
- The loans would involve “really no risk.”
- Camus screened the borrowers to ensure that money was only lent to borrowers who had the ability to repay;
- Camus had been conducting similar transactions for three years and the returns had been “awesome.”
- Camus would personally guarantee the investment; and
- The investment would be secured by a legitimate deed of trust.
Camus used the money she obtained from investors for personal expenses and to pay back earlier investors.
Camus was indicted by a federal grand jury on April 8, 2008. She was charged with five counts of wire fraud and two counts of mail fraud.
The sentence was handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel following a guilty plea on five counts in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343 and two counts in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1341. Judge Patel calculated the restitution amount of $1,457,255, by finding that the principal loss amount was $1,924,796, and that Camus had paid back $467,541 to the victims. Judge Patel also sentenced the defendant to a three year period of supervised release. The defendant will begin serving the sentence on October 30, 2009.
Christina Hua is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Elizabeth Garcia. The prosecution is the result of a two-year investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.