Man who claimed Kobe, LeBron were clients gets 13 years

A Newport Beach man who falsely claimed he handled investments for Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and other athletes received 13 years in state prison Friday for defrauding clients of $198,000.

An Orange County Superior Court jury found Calvin James Calvin, 48, guilty in January of seven felony counts of grand theft and four felony counts of making untrue statements in the purchase or sale of securities.

The defendant, who represented himself, defrauded at least seven victims whom he had met through church or business, gaining their trust by talking to them about family, faith and sports.

Between December 2005 and March 2008, Calvin stole $198,000 through various fraudulent schemes, including falsely telling at least five of his victims that he was an investment broker. He used the money to buy a home, a new Mercedes-Benz and sports memorabilia.

Calvin, who was on parole for a prior 2003 conviction for grand theft at the time of the crime, was prohibited from engaging in any financial or investment activities, as a term of his parole.

He told his victims that he would invest their money in various stocks, with the promise of high returns, and in turn would take his commission out of profits at no cost to the victims.

Calvin also claimed to be the chief financial officer of a legitimate alarm company, with which he had no association, and convinced at least one victim to invest in the company.

The defendant also entered into a contract with one victim under the pretense of helping to raise capital for the victim's business.

In all three schemes, the defendant gave a fake business address, a Post Office box in a Newport Beach laundromat.

Calvin deposited the victim's money into a business account and later transferred the money to his personal accounts.

The Newport Beach Police Department began investigating after receiving a complaint from a victim.

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