Father-son duo suspected of mail fraud

COSTA MESA — Postal inspectors are looking for a father and son who used businesses they ran in Costa Mesa to allegedly bilk hundreds of investors out of more than $20 million.

Robert Louis Carver, 56, formerly of Irvine, and Robert Louis Carver II, 36, formerly of Mission Viejo, were indicted Thursday on 14 counts of mail fraud charges, the U.S. Postal Service Inspection Service said in a news release.

The Carvers’ whereabouts are unknown and postal officials in Los Angeles are asking for the public’s help in tracking them down.

The indictment alleges that the Carvers defrauded more than 300 investors. The news release said they operated the scheme under various names of Costa Mesa-based businesses: Brookstone Capital, Brookstone Biotech Ventures II (BBV II) and Lincoln Funds International.

The businesses claimed to be selling investment services.

“Sale agents for the companies solicited investors with various claims and promises, including that the elder Carver had significant business experience and that investors’ money would be used to purchase stocks,” the release said. “According to the indictment, the Carvers failed to tell potential investors that the senior Carver had a criminal history and had been sued by California regulators. Additionally, the Carvers allegedly failed to file taxes for the businesses and misappropriated investors’ funds.”

Postal inspectors, the FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission participated in the investigation.

Anyone with information on the Carvers’ whereabouts should contact the Postal Inspection Service National Law Enforcement Communication Center at (877) 876-2455, pick option 2, and refer to Case No. 1730332-MF. Callers can be anonymous.

—Imran Vittachi