Home San Francisco Press Releases 2009 Tiburon Man Sentenced to 42 Months in Custody in Connection with Fake Investment Scheme

Tiburon Man Sentenced to 42 Months in Custody in Connection with Fake Investment Scheme

U.S. Attorney’s Office December 18, 2009
  • Northern District of California (415) 436-7200

SAN FRANCISCO—Malcolm McVickar Jr. was sentenced today to 42 months in prison and ordered to pay $436,583.37 in restitution for mail fraud and wire fraud, United States Attorney Joseph P. Russoniello announced.

McVickar, 67, of Tiburon, Calif., pleaded guilty on Sept. 17, 2009, to three counts of wire fraud and three counts of mail fraud. In pleading guilty, McVickar admitted to devising a short-term investment scheme in which he promised fixed rates of return. McVickar admitted making a number of false representations in conjunction with the investment scheme, including:

  • An investor’s money would be invested in the “Phoenix Private Investment Fund (“PPIF”), a legitimate investment fund involved with the Foreign (Currency) Exchange Market, the stock market, and real estate investments.
  • PPIF was managed by friends that McVickar met at school.
  • An investor would receive a fixed monthly interest payment on his or her investment.
  • An investor in the PPIF “doubler” program would receive double his or her investment within a short fixed time period.
  • An investor could withdraw the principal investment after a fixed period of time.
  • McVickar was the agent and investor contact for PPIF, and an investor could not contact the fund managers directly.
  • McVickar was unable to disclose any facts about the investments due to non-disclosure agreements.
  • The investments had “a money-back guarantee for a fail-safe investment.”
  • McVickar was personally responsible for insuring that investor funds were “handled professionally, and that all funds are paid back in a timely fashion per the anticipated schedule.”

Instead, McVickar used the money he obtained from the investors to pay off earlier investors, to make other undisclosed investments that were not for the benefit of the investors, and for personal expenses. As a result of the fraud scheme that resulted in at least ten victims, McVickar obtained a total of $436,583.37. As part of the plea agreement, McVickar agreed to pay restitution to victims as ordered by the court.

McVickar was indicted by a federal grand jury on May 5, 2009. He was charged with three counts of mail fraud and three counts of wire fraud. Under the plea agreement, McVickar pled guilty to all counts.

The sentence was handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Consuelo B. Marshall following a guilty plea on three counts of wire fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343 and three counts of mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1341. Judge Marshall also sentenced the defendant to a three year period of supervised release. McVickar’s federal sentence will run consecutive to a state prison sentence he is currently serving.

Christina Hua is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of M. Elizabeth Garcia. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Further Information:

Case #: CR 09-0472 CBM