A 54-year-old former real estate agent from Sacramento was arrested by the Investigations Unit of the Contra Costa District Attorney's Office for suspicion of swindling a Martinez couple out of more than $76,000.
The suspect, Lawrence Dean Grzelak, was arrested Monday on suspicion of securities fraud, according to District Attorney Mark Peterson.
Grzelak, a former real estate agent, fell behind on his Hawaiian condominium payments, Peterson said, and convinced a Martinez couple to invest in a fraudulent securities investment. The couple gave Grzelak two checks as an investment--one for $4,400 and another for $76,588. There was no securities investment, Peterson said. Instead, Grzelak used the money to help pay down the money he owed on the Hawaiian condo.
Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Investigation Unit, in conjunction with the Hawaiian Attorney General Office, discovered that the money was never invested in any security; instead, the money directly paid down Grzelak’s mortgage debt, Peterson said.
Grzelak has been charged with violating two felonies as well as an enhancement for an excessive loss. Grzelak faces a maximum sentence of 4 years, 8 months.
"This office will prosecute anyone who deceives victims of their hard-earned money in a securities fraud scheme," Peterson said. "We will not tolerate swindlers, con artists, nor financial predators in our community.”