LOS ANGELES — Murrieta attorney Fredrick Jacob Todd was disbarred from practicing law in California in the wake of his September 2014 convictions on two felony charges.
Todd's disbarment was handed down Nov. 18, according to his profile page on the State Bar of California website.
After his initial conviction, Todd was placed on interim suspension and made ineligible to practice law. Todd, who was admitted to the state’s bar association in 1979, had no prior disciplinary history.
According to court documents filed June 29, 2016, in Los Angeles, Todd was convicted by a New Jersey court of violating to title 18 U.S. Code sections pertaining to “conspiracy to commit mail fraud” and “transacting in criminal proceeds.” The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey sentenced Todd to 46 months in prison, during which he served his bar suspension. The disbarment proceedings were filed once the conviction was finalized and no appeals had been made.
The details of the charges were announced on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s website, FBI.gov. The release stated that Todd conspired with several others to defraud investors by promising large blocks of Facebook shares prior to the initial public offering as well as “several real-estate deals.” Millions of dollars were wired to Todd and his associates to purchase Facebook shares before the company went public in 2012.
However, the money was not spent on the shares upon receipt, but instead for personal uses among the group.
A second incident occurred when Todd and his associates told investors that they had found an apartment complex in Florida that could be renovated for a large profit. More funds were wired and again used for purposes other than what that for which they were intended.
Todd faced at least 20 years in prison with a potential fine of $250,000, though the plea bargain helped him to secure a sentence of less than four years. The department of the FBI responsible for the bust was the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which was created in 2009.
Because of the felony nature of the crimes and the attorney’s deceive, defraud, and steal, the charges met the State Bar Court’s criteria for mandatory disbarment. Todd was not entitled to a hearing in the matter, according to court documents.
Disbarred attorneys must comply with the California Rules of Court Rule 9.20 subsections (a) and (c). According to the rule definition on courts.ca.gov, attorney compliance includes the requirements to tell all of his clients of the ruling, deliver all necessary papers to his clients concerning their cases, return any unearned fees that remain, notify opposing counsel of his disbarment in any pending litigation, and file with the Clerk of the State Bar Court that he has complied with his disbarment provisions.