Pleasanton Weekly

News - January 15, 2010

Former Pleasanton man sentenced to 4 years in prison for fraud

Brice Carrington, 46, who now lives in Ojai, also must pay $4 million in restitution

A former Pleasanton man who falsely claimed he was a three-time Oscar-winning sound designer in a scheme to bilk investors in movie sound design products was sentenced to four years in federal prison.

Last Friday, U.S. District Court Judge D. Lowell Jensen also ordered Brice Carrington, 46, who now lives in Ojai, to pay $4 million in restitution to 13 victims and pay another $142,000 in restitution for unpaid income taxes.

In addition, Jensen ordered Carrington to forfeit Lamborghini, Hummer and Mercedes vehicles that he owned.

Carrington pleaded guilty in September to wire fraud and tax evasion in connection with the investment fraud scheme, according to U.S. Attorney Joseph Russoniello and Internal Revenue Service Special Agent in Charge Scott O'Briant.

In pleading guilty, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Carrington admitted that he lured investors by telling them he was well established in the entertainment industry and had been involved in many Hollywood productions.

To add credibility to his claims, Carrington paid a jeweler to make an Oscar statuette and also had another fake statuette, according to prosecutors.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said Carrington displayed the fake Oscar statuettes and photographs of himself with the statuettes in his home during investor fundraising parties.

In addition, Carrington used investors' money without their knowledge to buy three luxury cars -- a Lamborghini Murcielago, a Hummer H2 and a Mercedes SL 500R -- and used them as props to help lure new investors into investing money with him, prosecutors said.

According to prosecutors, Carrington received about $4.04 million from investors but used no more than $430,000 of that money toward designing sound effects.

Carrington also admitted that he failed to report $581,500 in gross receipts on his 2003 tax return and instead filed a false Form 1040 reporting zero taxes owed, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Carrington is scheduled to begin his sentence Feb. 12.

--Bay City News

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