Founder of Irvine financial services firm charged with defrauding investors of more than $4 million


The CEO of an Irvine-based financial services firm and two other employees are facing federal charges after authorities allege they defrauded investors out of more than $4 million.

A federal indictment filed against several senior employees at Five Star Financial Services of America alleges that they committed wire fraud by targeting retirement accounts and savings of elderly and vulnerable investors.

FBI and IRS agents on Thursday morning arrested Five Star’s chief executive officer, Memet Fatih Biyikoglu, 50, of Palm Desert. The company’s president and chief operating officer, Anna Marie Holt, 58, of Fountain Valley, was expected to turn herself in to authorities on Thursday afternoon, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Federal authorities are still searching for Ida Shaghoian, 38, of Palm Desert, who the U.S. Attorney’s Office identified as a sales agent with Five Star and Biyikoglu’s ex-wife.

In an affidavit supporting the indictment, federal authorities allege that Biyikoglu, Shaghoian and Holt told investors that their money would be put in a certificate of deposit at JP Morgan Chase Bank, promising them that “the investments were safe and would generate large returns.”

The certificate of deposit didn’t actually exist, prosecutors allege, with the Biyikoglu, Shaghoian and Holt instead giving the investors bogus bank statements to make it look like the money had actually been invested. The three are accused of using the investor money for their own personal expenses, including purchasing real estate, jewelry and a Ferrari.

Federal prosecutors said they have identified 11 suspected victims who are believed to have lost at least $4 million. Several lost their entire retirement savings, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

If convicted, Biyikoglu, Shaghoian and Hold face up to 20 years in federal prison.


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