A former California lawyer has pleaded guilty to federal felony charges after admitting she used more than $8 million from investors to pursue a lavish lifestyle, the US Department of Justice said.
Sara Jacqueline King, 39, who worked in Newport Beach, was charged with wire fraud and money laundering. The former lawyer is set to appear in court on June 20.
Orange County Lawyer Agrees to Plead Guilty to Multimillion-Dollar Fraud of Victims Who Believed They Were Funding Loan Program— Ronald Richards (@RonaldRichards) June 13, 2023
This was amazing work by @FBI and @USAO_LosAngeles with real alacrity and justice for these victims. #sarakinghttps://t.co/v5xlEQCU9M
In a statement, the former Orange County attorney reportedly reached a plea agreement by admitting to operating Newport Beach-based King Family Lending LLC, which allegedly made loans to short-term, high-interest loans to wealthy clients such as professional athletes and celebrities.
The loans were allegedly secured by the borrowers' assets, such as luxury watches, yachts, designer handbags, and profits from Guaranteed sports contracts.
Through his company, King recruited investors from January 2022 to January 2023 to finance business loans.
King reportedly assured investors that their funds were safe at through the same collateral as the loans, which would retain possession of the items and sell them in the event a borrower defaulted on a loan to pay investors in full.
In addition, King had told investors that he would keep a percentage of the interest earned on the loan, and that investors would receive a portion of the interest along with their initial investment.
However, the former attorney never started or funded He used the investors' money to gamble in Las Vegas casinos and finance a lavish lifestyle.
Of that money, $132,156 went towards the purchase of a Porsche electric sports car Taycan.
King accepted responsibility for five investors losing more than $8 million, agreeing to $8.7 million as a restitution amount.
Despite the plea agreement, the investigation ongoing by the FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation.