A Seal Beach woman previously convicted of impersonating an FBI agent was charged today with mail fraud in an alleged investment scam that falsely promised ownership in commercial real estate, conning 50 victims out of nearly $2 million.
Karen Hanover, 46, was named in a two-count indictment returned by a Santa Ana federal grand jury. The indictment alleges Hanover ran the scheme out of two Long Beach-based companies -- Commercial Investment Education and Kharmic Life Strategies -- and pitched victim-investors at seminars in Southern California, Dallas and Las Vegas, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
According to the indictment, Hanover falsely promised victims a shortcut to owning commercial real estate. If the investors paid between $19,000 and $29,997, Hanover would become their ``equity partner'' and guarantee ownership in the property, according to court papers.
The indictment contends that Hanover further guaranteed that investors would ``get into a deal,'' regardless of credit history or financial status, and that they would realize annual returns of 100 percent and would be protected with a money-back guarantee.
However, according to the indictment, after receiving the victims' money, Hanover allegedly gave them an agreement in which she negated virtually every promise, including that she would refund money if asked.
Hanover is expected to face arraignment on Jan. 2. If convicted, she faces up to 60 years in federal prison, officials said.
Previously in the investigation, Hanover was found guilty last year of impersonating an FBI agent to contact victims of the alleged real estate fraud scheme. She was sentenced to six months in prison and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.
- City News Service