Connie S. Farris, 66, Grover Beach, California, the former owner/operator of Global Express Capital, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay over $31 million in restitution, for duping hundreds of investors into giving her millions of dollars for loans they thought were secured by real estate in Nevada, California, and Utah.
Farris was sentenced on Friday, March 18, 2011, by U.S. District Judge Roger L. Hunt. Farris was convicted of 39 counts of mail fraud in November 2010, following a three-week jury trial.
During the period of 2001 to 2003, Connie S. Farris owned several companies which purportedly loaned money to real estate developers for the purchase of undeveloped land. The companies operated as one business, and are known as and herein referred to as “Global Express.” Global Express solicited investors through word of mouth and also through advertisements in the Las Vegas Review Journal. The advertisements usually stated that Global Express was seeking investors for first deeds of trust and that they would receive interest at the rate of 14% per year. Farris received millions from investors for what they thought were projects in Bishop and Rancho Mirage, California, Las Vegas, Nevada, and St. George, Utah. Farris and Global Express did not fund or close on any of those real estate loans, and thus, Farris/Global Express had no interest in the properties and the investors’ funds were not secured with a deed of trust. In order to avoid being caught, Farris lulled investors into a false sense of security by causing them to receive monthly interest checks and other materials related to their investments.
Farris was permitted to self-report to federal prison by July 15, 2011.
Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for Nevada announced the sentence.
“Defendant Farris made false representations and promises in order to induce investors into giving her millions of dollars,” said U.S. Attorney Bogden. “Farris told the investors that their investments were secured by real estate, when in fact, Farris knew they were not. Investors need to be very cautious of persons and entities that promise higher than average returns on an investment. Such potential investments may be too good to be true.”
The case was investigated by the FBI, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Brian Pugh and Pat Walsh.