San Fernando Valley Man Sentenced to More Than Six Years in Prison in $13 Million Scheme Involving Non-Existent NASCAR Merchandise
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 03, 2012|
LOS ANGELES—A Chatsworth man was sentenced today to 78 months in federal prison in a long-running Ponzi scheme that took $13.5 million from two dozen victims who thought they were investing in a business that sold NASCAR overstock items.
Eliott Jay Dresher, 66, was sentenced by United States District Judge Phillips S. Gutierrez, who also ordered Dresher to pay $8.8 million in restitution—the total amount of losses stemming from Dresher’s fraud scheme.
Judge Gutierrez said that Dresher “lived the scheme, perpetuating it for about 11 years,” and that the defendant fabricated “elaborate stories of his contacts” and even forged attorney letters in an effort to prove the existence of $70 million he falsely claimed to have. Judge Gutierrez said the “impact of the offense was devastating for some victims....At a time when they should be looking forward to retirement, they are forced to work, likely through old age.”
Dresher solicited investments primarily from family members, long-term friends, and other victims who were told that their money would be used to purchase overstock and excess apparel items related to NASCAR. Dresher falsely told investors that he purchased the overstock NASCAR items and then sold them at a profit to stores such as Costco and Ross Dress for Less. In reality, Dresher had no relationship with NASCAR or any NASCAR-licensed manufacturer or distributor.
As a result of the scheme, 25 families lost a total of $8.8 million.
The case against Dresher is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Postal Inspection Service.