Sacramento, Calif.-based insurance agent William Arthur Sassman has been arrested, accused of running a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme.
Authorities contend Sassman fleeced investors in order to bankroll his lavish lifestyle. The charges against Sassman include 43 counts of grand theft, 40 counts of misrepresentation or omission in the sale of a security, 16 counts of first-degree burglary and one count of use of a device, scheme or artifice to defraud in the sale of a security. If convicted of the charges, Sassman faces up to 52 years behind bars.
"William Arthur Sassman solicited millions of dollars from California investors with promises of high returns on business and real estate investments," California Attorney General Edmund Brown Jr. said in a statement. "In reality, Sassman looted their savings to prop up a Ponzi scheme so he could buy homes and Ferraris."
Sassman used four companies, including Formulating Insurance Agency (FIA), to solicit investments ranging from approximately $10,000 to $500,000 from more than 50 individuals across Northern California. Instead of investing the money, Sassman allegedly spent the money on multiple homes, automobiles and rang up charges totaling $1.1 million on his American Express card.
Sassman is being held in the Sacramento County Jail with bail set at $3.2 million.
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