Santa Ana, California - A former Orange County financial advisor and lawyer was sentenced Friday to 37 months in federal prison for stealing millions of dollars of his pro athlete clients’ money and investing it in a cash-losing ticket company on which he was a board member.
Ash Narayan, 55, of Irvine, was sentenced by United States District Judge Josephine L. Staton, who also ordered him to pay $18,811,231 in restitution. Narayan pleaded guilty in June 2019 to a two-count information charging him with wire fraud and subscribing to a false tax return.
Narayan worked as an investment advisor at RGT Capital Management Ltd.’s Irvine office and also was a licensed California lawyer until his disbarment earlier this year. At RGT, Narayan’s clients were high-net-worth individuals who were current and former professional athletes.
In addition to his job at RGT, Narayan served on the board of directors for The Ticket Reserve Inc. (TTR), an Illinois-based technology company that allowed customers to buy an option on a ticket to future sporting events, such as playoff games, which they could cash in if their team made the postseason. TTR never was profitable and carried millions of dollars in debt.
From December 2009 to early 2016, Narayan advised his clients to invest in TTR, but failed to disclose to them his role in the company as well as the fact that it was a high-risk investment and an unprofitable business. At times, Narayan directed RGT employees to forge his clients’ signatures on wire authorizations to direct significant amounts of his clients’ money into TTR without their knowledge or consent.
Narayan left RGT in 2016 and The Ticket Reserve was put into receivership later that year.
Narayan also knowingly subscribed to a materially false federal income tax return when he reported that his total income for 2012 was $543,072, when in truth it was $1,138,072.
In a related case brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission in federal court in Dallas, Narayan was ordered to repay $1,498,000 in ill-gotten gains as well as a $350,000 civil penalty.
This matter was investigated by the FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer L. Waier of the Santa Ana Branch Office.