VENTURA, Calif. - A Santa Barbra man was formally charged for scamming two victims out of more than $500,00 in bogus business ventures.
Ventura County District Attorney Gregory Totten announced the filing of a felony complaint charging Stephen Tudor Crozier, 65, with 19 felony counts, including theft from an elder, grand theft, making deceptive statements when selling a security, money laundering, and forgery. In addition, the complaint alleges a special allegation for taking more than $500,000.
The case was the result of an investigation by the Ventura County District Attorney's Office Bureau of Investigation.
The report says that from 2009 to 2016, Crozier made false statements in order to convince two victims into giving him money to be used as an investment in various companies.
Crozier took the money and used it for his own purposes. In addition, he used money from new investors to pay off other investors, but the majority of proceeds were used to pay for his own living expenses.
Crozier was arraigned on Friday and entered a plea of not guilty. He is in custody at the Ventura County jail with bail set at $500,000.
If convicted, Crozier faces up to 23 years in state prison.
Anyone who believes they may have been a victim or has information concerning this case is asked to contact District Attorney Investigator Jon Hixson at (805) 662-1732.