David Bloom, once hailed as the “Wall Street Whiz Kid” before he was busted for bilking investors out of millions in New York, took his shady scheme to Los Angeles where he’s now accused of scamming nine people out of nearly $225,000.
Bloom, 59, faces nine felony counts of securities fraud and nine felony counts of grand theft with special allegations of two or more prior felony convictions, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office said.
Over the last two years, Bloom convinced people to give him money in return for investments and other financial opportunities, prosecutors say. But those investments never materialized and Bloom never returned most of the money, prosecutors said. He was arrested Monday and is being held in jail on a $505,000 bail. He faces up to 14 years in prison if convicted.
The scheme was sometimes elaborate. Caroline D’Amore, an LA business owner and actress, said at a press conference Tuesday held by LA County District Attorney George Gascón that Bloom had her and her business partners fly to Texas to meet who they thought was the CEO of Whole Foods.
Turns out it was just a guy impersonating him, D’Amore said.
“This man has no boundaries that he will not cross to scam you,” said D’Amore, the founder of the Pizza Girl line of pasta sauces.
D’Amore said Bloom preyed on her when she was vulnerable as a single mother going through a divorce.
“To me he pretended to be a business mentor, someone who believed in me and wanted to help me,” she said.
While the money he allegedly stole was devastating, what hurt the victims even more was the time he wasted and the dreams he dashed, D’Amore said.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Bloom would hop around LA bars including the Frolic Room on Hollywood Boulevard and tell people he met that he could sell them shares of Instacart, Coinbase and Soho House before the companies went public. He also told people he could get them Super Bowl tickets and convinced a screenwriter to give him his script so he could pass it along to the Netflix CEO only to find out he had neither the tickets nor the access, the newspaper reported.
Gascón said the crimes shouldn’t be taken lightly just because they are financial in nature.
“It’s a financial crime that has a tremendous impact on people’s livelihood, on people’s ability to handle their business and then it has a tremendous impact emotionally on not only on the individual and their family but sometimes on entire communities,” the DA said.
Bloom rose to fame in the late 1980s when he was arrested for scamming investors, including his grandmother, out of $15 million to fund his lavish lifestyle of fancy artwork and luxury cars. He was sentenced to eight years in prison. He was convicted of similar crimes in 2000 and was released in 2006.
To D’Amore, Bloom is nothing but a predator and a scammer.
“He did it to his own family, so none of us had a chance,” she said.
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