Former real-estate guru Aleem Hussein enticed about a dozen Orange County Sheriff’s Office employees, plus state workers, to invest millions of dollars in a bogus enterprise called Main Street USA Inc.
Hussein lured investors with lunches, free vacations and promises of federally insured returns of 14 to 30 percent. He even hired some investors as employees.
It was all a “Ponzi” scam, in which no investments were made and money was funneled from the newer investors to the pay the earlier ones.
Unfortunately, many victims of the scheme trusted Hussein because members of the sheriff’s department were involved. “I figured if it was good enough for the sheriff’s deputies, it was good enough for me,” one said. Hussein faces up to 20 years in prison.