Birmingham woman charged in investment scheme
A Birmingham woman has been charged in connection with a decades-long investment scheme that involved clients who sought self-improvement through her business, the Michigan Attorney General's Office announced Wednesday.
Investigators accuse Beth Lisa Jaslove, who ran the Center for Growth and Enlightenment, of targeting her therapy patients through a criminal operation known as the "Community Money Program," between 1991 and 2017.
"Through the program, CGE sold unlicensed securities to Jaslove’s patients and clients, promising fixed return rates between 2 and 8 percent," the Attorney General's Office said in a statement. "Jaslove allegedly promoted the scheme by convincing her patients and clients that investing in the program would aid in their personal growth and enlightenment."
More than a dozen people lost nearly everything they invested in the program, while Jaslove collected more than $1 million from 2008-16 alone, according to the release.
After a probe, the 67-year-old was arraigned this month at 48th District Court in Bloomfield Hills and charged with one count of conducting a criminal enterprise, a felony carrying a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison and $100,000, as well as 27 counts of larceny by false pretenses, prosecutors said.
The latter charge includes one count of $100,000 or more, a felony carrying a maximum sentence of up to 20 years and $35,000; four counts over $20,000 but less than $50,000, a felony with a maximum sentence of 15 years and $15,000 or three times the value; and 22 counts of $1,000-$20,000, felonies with a maximum sentence of five years and $10,000.
"People shouldn’t have to worry about who they trusted with their investments,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said. “Today’s charges should send a clear message: Those who seek to defraud our state residents will be held accountable.”
Bond was set at $250,000, Nessel's office said. Jaslove remains at the Oakland County Jail, records show. A preliminary exam is scheduled for 9 a.m. Jan. 22.