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Aequitas Management, LLC, was at center of conspiracy that cost investors more than $600 million

U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams announced April 19 that Brian A. Oliver, a former owner and executive vice president of the Lake Oswego-based Aequitas Management, LLC and several other Aequitas-related companies, pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud and money laundering.

According to court documents referenced in a press release, Oliver, 54, of Aurora, Oregon, and unnamed co-conspirators used the company to solicit investments in a variety of notes and funds, many of which were purportedly backed by trade receivables in education, health care, transportation and other consumer credit areas. Oliver was the company's primary fundraiser and shared responsibility for the operation and management of Aequitas-affiliated companies and investment products as well as for the use of investor money, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

From June 2014 through February 2016, Oliver and others solicited investors by misrepresenting the company's use of investor money, the financial health and strength of Aequitas and its related companies, and the risks associated with its investments and investment strategies. Oliver and his co-conspirators also failed to disclose other critical facts about the company, including its near-constant liquidity and cash-flow crises, the use of investor money to repay other investors and to defray operating expenses, and the lack of collateral to secure funds.

The U.S. Attorney's Office estimated that the conspiracy may have cost investors more than $600 million.

Oliver faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, a $250,000 fine or twice the gross monetary gains or losses resulting from his crimes, and three years of supervised release. He will be sentenced Aug. 5 before U.S. District Court Judge Michael W. Mosman.

As part of the plea agreement, Oliver agreed to pay restitution in full to each of the victims as determined and ordered by the court.

This case is being investigated by the FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration. It is being prosecuted by Scott E. Bradford and Ryan W. Bounds, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.

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