Omar Ali Rizvi graduated from law school in San Francisco and earned a Masters of Laws degree in securities and financial regulations at Georgetown University Law School in the nation's capital, but its obvious that the Irvine man never learned to obey the law.
In the last decade, Rizvi has been convicted of assault with a deadly weapon and disbarred for lack of character.
Now, he can add another impressive milestone to his resume.
This week, a federal judge in Orange County ruled that the 45-year-old man owes a $2.6 million penalty to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for operating a scam that relied on lies boosting returns "in excess of 1000%" for investors.
After agreeing with the SEC's view of the case and push for summary judgement, U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna ordered Rizvi to pay the fine within 180 days.
The federal agency claims that Rizvi launched a series of companies--Bellwether Venture Capital Fund I, Inc. of Irvine and Strategy Partners, LLC of Newport Beach--after he lost his lawyer's license and never registered the entities.
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Rizvi issued press releases claiming wild success for investors, but in reality his Bellwether operations "never realized any gains on its holdings and never paid any returns to its investors," according the SEC complaint.
Selna also permanently barred him from engaging in future investment businesses.
County records show that Rizvi has lived or operated businesses in Irvine, Corona del Mar, Fullerton, Huntington Beach, Manhattan Beach, Santa Ana and San Francisco.