In the first alleged scheme, Argyropoulos faces six fraud charges related to false promises to use investor funds to purchase securities, including pre-IPO shares of Facebook and Twitter. Instead of purchasing the stocks, Argyropoulos allegedly diverted the investor funds for other uses, such as day-trading in stocks unrelated to the promised investments and personal expenses, such as his mortgage, car payments and casino debts. According to the indictment, from October 2010 through October 2015, Argyropoulos solicited $4,947,360 from investors victimized in this scheme.In the second scheme, Argyropoulos faces seven fraud charges for allegedly marketing shares in an investment known as the "Laurence Miles Giant Estate Settlement," which was also called the "Laurence Miles Trust." According to the indictment, Argyropoulos falsely told investors that the beneficiary of the Trust was a very ill woman who needed medical treatments and was the heir to a large estate, which was worth more than $1 billion. According to the bogus story, the estate was tied up in probate proceedings, and money was needed to cover the heir's medical expenses. Once the probate proceedings were finished, Argyropoulos allegedly told victims, the assets would become available for transfer, at which point, investors would receive a large return - as much as 1,000 percent. In truth, there was no estate to be settled and no "ill woman" with large medical bills. According to the indictment, Argyropoulos' investors lost over $760,000 in the scam.The final eight counts of the indictment charge Argyropoulos with criminal contempt. These counts allege that Argyropoulos' solicitation of investments in the Laurence Miles Trust violated the terms of an injunction that Argyropoulos consented to in a suit brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which was based on the fraudulent Facebook and Twitter scheme. The injunction prohibited Argyropoulos from selling fraudulent investments and acting as an unlicensed broker.
2. On January 10, 2017, the State Bar Court of California ("Bar") suspended Russell from the practice of law based on its finding that Russell: willfully failed to maintain client funds in a trust account; misappropriated client funds in a trust account on multiple occasions; and, breached his fiduciary duty by paying his personal expenses from his client trust fund. The Bar Court found Russell's violations to be aggravated because: he engaged in multiple acts of misconduct; his violations caused significant harm to his client; he lacked candor during his testimony; and, he did not show remorse for his unethical behavior.3. On June 23, 2017, the California Supreme Court entered an Order disbarring Russell from the practice of law effective July 23, 2017. The Court also ordered Russell to make restitution to his former client in the amount of $31,500 plus 10% interest per year from June 17, 2015. The Court also awarded costs to the California Bar.