A federal grand jury Tuesday returned a five-count indictment that accused a Beverly Hills man – who was completing a sentence in a prior federal fraud case – of soliciting more than $9 million from investors with false claims they were investing in a hemp farm that did not exist, officials stated.
Mark Roy Anderson, 68, lived in Beverly Hills while on supervised release after serving an 11-year and three-month prison sentence.
He faces five counts of wire fraud in a case alleging he tricked investors into providing funding for his company, Harvest Farm Group, to harvest and process hemp grown on his farm into medical-grade CBD isolate to be sold for a substantial profit.
Special agents with the FBI arrested Anderson on May 9 after prosecutors filed a criminal complaint outlining a series of actions and false statements that allegedly induced victims to send Anderson money during the scheme from at least June 2020 to April 2021.
Anderson allegedly attempted to maintain a veneer of trustworthiness by taking steps to assure investors Harvest Farms Group was legitimate and he “was not the ‘Mark Roy Anderson’ with multiple prior fraud convictions.”
The indictment alleges Anderson “concealed that he had been convicted of multiple federal and state felony crimes, including mail fraud, wire fraud, grand theft, forgery, preparing false evidence, and money laundering, and concealed that he was still serving a criminal sentence and still on supervised release at the time he was soliciting investments.”
Anderson allegedly used investor money for personal expenses, including more than $650,000 worth of luxury and vintage vehicles, over $400,000 in cash withdrawals, more than $142,000 in retail purchases, and other personal expenses.
Officials stated that this includes more than $1.3 million spent to purchase a residence and surrounding citrus groves in Ojai.
All defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
Anderson, who has been ordered held without bond in this case, is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment in federal court next week.
Each count of wire fraud alleged in the indictment carries up to 20 years in federal prison.
The FBI is investigating this case.
Assistant United States Attorney Kerry L. Quinn of the Major Frauds Section is prosecuting the case.