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Felony fraud charges against former Santa Rosa broker dropped

  • Jeffrey A. Guidi, 54, of Santa Rosa, listens Tuesday during his preliminary hearing in Shasta County Superior Court. He is accused with two other men of running an elaborate real estate and investment Ponzi scheme that allegedly bilked more than 2,000 investors out of an estimated $200 million. Andreas Fuhrmann/Record Searchlight

Felony fraud charges were dismissed Monday against a former Santa Rosa securities broker who cooperated with authorities during the investigation into convicted swindler Gary Armitage.

Jeffrey Guidi contended his former partners and co-defendants, Armitage and Redding businessman James Koenig, kept him in the dark about their real estate scam targeting more than 2,000 victims across Northern California.

On Monday, Shasta County Superior Court Judge Bradley Boeckman threw out a slew of felony securities fraud and burglary charges against Guidi, the final phase in an agreement with state prosecutors reached in April.

In addition to his cooperation, Guidi must repay three investors nearly $300,000 in restitution.

Guidi's attorney, Ted Cassman of Berkeley, said the dismissal was vindication for Guidi.

"This prosecution has completely devastated Jeff and his career," Cassman said. "He is hoping to get his life back on track now."

Koenig was handed a 43-year prison sentence in July for his role in what has been called one of the largest Ponzi schemes in state history.

Armitage, who took a plea agreement on the eve of trial, is serving a 10-year prison sentence for his role in the scheme, estimated at nearly $250 million.


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