James W. Faber, alleged fraud fighter, indicted for $2 million worth of fraud

In a press release from a few years back, James W. Faber portrayed himself as a crusader on behalf of individuals who'd been defrauded.

Which is interesting, not to mention ironic, given that he's just been indicted in absentia on charges that include multiple counts of (you guessed it) fraud. Get details and see the full indictment, on view below.

The aforementioned press release, accessible here, touts the founding of Oster Martin & Faber, LLC, a law firm mentioned frequently in the indictment. The release reads in part:
James Faber, most recently known as counsel for some 65 investors seeking millions in damages from Denver-based Mile High Capital, is joining partners Jonathan Oster and John Martin to launch a new Denver-based law firm, Oster Martin & Faber, LLC. Faber hails from longstanding Denver law firm, Dufford & Brown. While the growing caseload of defrauded Mile High Capital investors was one reason for the move -- he fields calls daily from individuals who say they have claims against Mile High -- the real reason was the opportunity to best serve his existing clients. "John Martin and Jon Oster have developed a powerful list of clients and built a sound reputation in the area of commercial litigation," notes Faber. "The combination of their litigation expertise and my transactional background will allow us to achieve pragmatic solutions in both corporate and litigation matters."
What's Mile High Capital? According to a 2009 Denver Business Journal article, the outfit "purported to sell duplex rental units to investors, who could then resell them for a profit. The company also had several sister companies that specialized in tax-deferred real estate transactions and rental property management." However, prosecutors charged that the operation was actually a Ponzi scheme. Its founder, Fredric "Rick" Dryer, was ultimately given a sentence of 132 years in state prison -- a huge stretch for crime of the white-collar variety -- after being convicted of violating state organized crime laws, not to mention securities fraud and theft charges.

Remember those counts, because you'll be hearing more like them soon.

The indictment maintains that in 2006, around the time of a DBJ report about a suit Faber filed on behalf of defrauded Mile High Capital investors, the attorney met with a client who wanted to transfer $1 million from a European account to one in the United States. He's said to have told her he had an investment in a coal mining concern in Canada; he could put the cash into that company and then pay her interest on the dough for three years, after which he'd return the original investment.

The money was soon transferred, but the indictment states that it was never plowed into the mining firm.

Continue to read more about the indictment of James W. Faber and see the indictment against him. Where did this windfall go instead? It was allegedly pooled with other investors' dollars in the so-called Goldfish Fund, which was used to "pay off prior investors, including but not limited to Faber's family members" and run his law practice, the document says.

There are plenty more stories like this one in the indictment, adding up to a total theft calculated by the Denver District Attorney's Office at more than $2 million. As such, Faber has been charged with violating the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act. Also on his docket: six counts of securities fraud and seventeen counts of theft.

At this writing, there's a warrant out for the onetime fraud fighter's arrest. Look below to see a larger version of the Faber photo shared by the DA's office, plus the indictment.

James W Faber Indictment

More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Sean Mueller, John Elway Ponzi-schemer, says he's suicidal, gets 40-year sentence anyway."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts