Beverly Hills developer Jay Belson — who also lists his own properties as a broker — will have to cut a check for $7.5 million to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over allegations that he defrauded investors of about $2.5 million.
Belson, who has made guest appearances on Bravo TV’s “Million Dollar Listings Los Angeles,” is said to have spent the millions on himself that he promised would be used toward the development of individual properties, according to an SEC court filing from the settlement made last week.
The complaint alleged the developer also provided investors with falsely inflated returns to make his business appear profitable, the Los Angeles Times reported. The SEC alleges Belson raised nearly $18 million from at least 23 investors between January 2011 and June 2016. He promised investors their funds would be used on the individual properties they invested in, according to the filing.
One of the properties involved in the alleged scheme is a Hollywood Hills home at 8931 St. Ives Drive, which Belson developed and sold last year for $9.6 million. Another is a 2.5-acre property in Bel Air salted for a 25,000-square-foot home and 3,000-square foot guesthouse that Belson acquired entitlements for and sold it with the plans, according to the L.A. Times.
Belson didn’t admit or deny the SEC’s allegations in the settlement. [LAT] — Subrina Hudson