SB Man indicted on federal fraud, money laundering
SANTA BARBARA — A federal grand jury indicted Darrell Arnold Aviss, 63, of Santa Barbara with five counts of wire fraud and five counts of laundering criminal proceeds and one count of concealment money laundering Tuesday.
He allegedly stole approximately $12 million from people who thought their money was being used to purchase annuities from Swiss insurance companies.
According to the indictment, he advertised secure annuities and, in some instances, promised interest rates of 5-7%. He ran the scheme from at least 2012 through 2020.
He allegedly sent victims statements of the annuities’ value increasing over time.
He accrued more than $12 million, allegedly paying victims a portion back to keep their trust. Most victims were over the age of 60, and one victim paid the majority of the money received.
Court documents allege the money did not go toward annuities but instead funded mortgage payments, luxury car leases, expensive watches, trips to Monaco, more than $100,000 in purchases at a Santa Barbara nightclub and 20 tickets to a U2 concert and afterparty.
He was arrested June 18 and is scheduled to be arraigned July 9.
Each of his five counts of wire fraud carries a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison. Concealment money laundering has a maximum sentence of 20 years as well.
Each count of laundering criminal proceeds in excess of $10,000 has a potential sentence of 10 years.
The FBI and IRS are investigating the case, and Assistant United States Attorney Monica E. Tait of the Major Frauds Section is prosecuting it.
— Annelise Hanshaw
Fatal rollover after VAFB security pursuit
VANDENBERG AFB — A fatal rollover occurred Monday night at State Route 1 and State Route 135. Vandenberg Air Force Base security forces were in pursuit of the driver.
The driver, a 47-year-old male, missed the curve in the roadway, causing his 2017 GMC Denali to veer to the right and crash into a milemarker.
The car continued down the shoulder before driving off the embankment, becoming airborne. The GMC flipped over while in the air and landed on its roof.
The car slid down the shoulder of State Route 135 before crashing into a guard rail.
The Santa Barbara County Fire Department responded alongside paramedics, performing major extrication to pull the driver from the vehicle. The driver was pronounced deceased at the scene.
— Annelise Hanshaw