IRVINE (AP) — A veteran real estate broker and former Irvine planning commissioner has agreed to plead guilty to interstate wire fraud in federal court, admitting he cheated 34 people out of more than $4 million.

The Orange County Register reported Wednesday that prosecutors say David Sparks defrauded his friends, relatives and clients with an elaborate Ponzi scheme starting in 2007.

Victims say the 50-year-old cooperated with the FBI and confessed to forging bank documents, using non-existent escrow companies, providing bogus status updates and falsely reporting significant profits.

When his investments in Utah’s Cedar City lost value, he convinced investors to lend him cash and created fake documents to document their “investments.”

Sparks faces 20 years in prison but the U.S. attorney’s office agreed to recommend less in the plea agreement.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (3)
  1. Lea says:

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