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More: California Retirees’ Money Went to Fund Porn

from www.latimes.com – A federal judge in Los Angeles has issued an emergency order freezing the assets of a company that allegedly bilked retirees in California and Illinois out of $20 million, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Wednesday.

In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, the SEC accused USA Retirement Management Services executives of promising to invest in “Turkish Eurobonds” but instead sending investor money to friends and relatives in Turkey and spending some of it on luxury cars and Web-based pornography.

The company’s managing partners, Francois E. Durmaz and Robert C. Pribilski, attracted investors through mass mailings and hosted seminars in California and Illinois, promising to return 8% to 11% annually, the SEC alleged.

The company never invested in bonds, instead making interest payments with new investor money in a classic Ponzi scheme, according to the lawsuit.

Durmaz and Pribilski could not be reached for comment.

U.S. District Judge George H. Wu signed an order Tuesday freezing the companies’ assets and ordering it to refrain from further fraudulent activity.

The lawsuit contended that Durmaz and Pribilski spent $450,000 of investor money on luxury cars, $138,000 on housing, $3,750 on a stamp collection and an unspecified amount on vacations and pornography.

The company is incorporated in Illinois and has offices in Los Angeles, Irvine and Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. Durmaz has homes in Los Angeles and Streamwood, Ill. Pribilski lives in Lisle, Ill. Neither of them is registered with the SEC, and they do not hold any securities licenses.

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