Contra Costa District Attorney Mark A. Peterson announced today that 54-year-old Lawrence Dean Grzelak, a former real estate agent from Sacramento, has been arrested by the District Attorney’s Investigations Unit for securities fraud by deceiving a Martinez family of $76,558 in a fraudulent investment scheme.
The following information is from the CoCo D.A.’s Office:
In 2006, Grzelak purchased a condominium in upscale Lahaini, Maui for $469,000. . Nonetheless, Grzelak fell behind in making mortgage payments in 2010. Grzelak owed thousands in arrears to American Savings Bank.
Victims, unaware of Grzelak’s mortgage problems with American Savings Bank, contacted this former real estate agent in order to purchase a rental property in the Bay Area. Rather than assist the victims to purchase property, Grzelak convinced the victims’ to invest in a fraudulent securities scheme that did not exist…a scheme that was supposed to double in value in a month. Victim handed Grzelak two checks for $4,400 and $76,588, respectfully.
In reality, Grzelak forwarded the victim’s check for $76,558 to American Savings Bank to pay down the arrears on his Hawaiian mortgage.
Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Investigation Unit, in conjunction with the Hawaiian Attorney General Office, discovered that the money was never invested in any security; instead, the money directly paid down Grzelak’s mortgage debt.
Grzelak has been charged with violating two felonies as well as an enhancement for an excessive loss. Grzelak faces a maximum sentence of 4 years, 8 months.
District Attorney Mark A. Peterson stated “that this office will prosecute anyone who deceives victims of their hard earned money in a securities fraud scheme. We will not tolerate swindlers, con artists, nor financial predators in our community.”
Lawrence Dean Grzelak is being prosecuted by the Real Estate Fraud Unit of Contra Costa County by Deputy District Attorney Ken W. McCormick.