Colin Nathanson was the president and CEO of Giant Golf Company and Play Big Enterprises. While owning those companies, he admitted that he fraudulently convinced hundreds of people to invest in his companies, claiming that the companies would soon be publicly traded or would merge with a larger company. Nathanson received about $55 million from the investors and then bought houses, went on pricey vacations and used the money for his gambling addiction. The Securities and Exchange Commission started investigating him in 2005 and realized he was engaging in fraudulent activity. This week, Nathanson was sentenced to 27 years in federal prison for the fraud he committed. As soon as he gets out, he will deported to South Africa since he was illegally in the U.S.
Someone being suspected of defrauding people out of money can be prosecuted criminally and sued in civil court. Even though Nathanson is in prison, he can also be sued by all the people he stole money from. Nathanson was sentenced to 27 years. To put this in context, a murderer would likely be sentenced to about 25 years. After Enron, the court has been more harsh in sentencing white collar criminals, especially when the dollar loss was so great. Whether you live in Newport Beach, Laguna Beach or Huntington Beach, if you are charged with fraud or any other white collar crime, you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side.