A con man who was convicted twice in New York for bilking victims out of millions of dollars through financial fraud schemes was behind bars today in Los Angeles on charges of running similar scams locally, allegedly luring victims by claiming to be well-connected with big names in Hollywood and the finance world.
David Bloom, 59, was arrested around 4 a.m. Monday by the Los Angeles Police Department, and he was being held in lieu of $505,000 bail. Bloom was charged with nine counts each of grand theft and fraud while selling securities “with special allegations of two or more prior felony convictions”, according to L.A. District Attorney George Gascón.
“David Bloom managed to convince hard-working people to turn over their earnings as part of a fraudulent investment scheme,” Gascón said in a statement. “Anyone who believes they fell victim in this case or other financial scams are encouraged to report it to my office or their local law enforcement agency. Those who prey upon people for their own selfish gain will be held accountable for their actions.”
Bloom is expected to be arraigned August 29.
Deadline was first to report last year that former Evolution Media boss Alex Baskin and Aliza Rosen’s AYR Media are developing a docuseries and podcast called King Con: The Whiz Kid (w/t), which will track Bloom’s decades of deceit, shedding light on previously unknown scams and victims, as well as the high-profile ruses that landed Bloom behind bars.
According to The Los Angeles Times, Bloom allegedly targeted would-be victims at a luxury apartment complex and at bars, including the Frolic Room on Hollywood Boulevard, telling people he had an inside track on not-yet-public stocks and offering them a chance to get in on the ground floor of lucrative investment opportunities. But victims said they never saw any profits, despite giving Bloom thousands of dollars, the paper reported.
Bloom, once dubbed a Wall Street whiz kid, pleaded guilty to mail and securities fraud in New York in 1988 and was sentenced to eight years in federal prison for convincing people to give him financial investments totaling more than $15 million, but he instead spent the money on himself, the Times reported. He pleaded guilty again in the late 1990s for bilking 10 people out of at least $50,000 in a similar scheme that targeted various restaurant employees.
The Times reported last year that Bloom had been targeting victims locally, including several at the Frolic Room near Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street. According to the paper, Bloom convinced multiple patrons he could get them tickets for the Super Bowl at SoFi Stadium, but he never came through. He convinced another that he was acquainted with Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos and could pass along a screenplay the bar patron was writing, The Times reported.
Another woman told the paper that Bloom would target people at a high-end apartment in the Franklin Village area, offering them opportunities to purchase shares of stock that were not yet available to the public. But after collecting their money, he disappeared.
Police told the Times some victims eventually got partial refunds, but investigators suspect he merely repaid them with money bilked from other victims. Bloom was initially arrested last August but was not immediately charged, so he was released from custody.
City News Service contributed to this report.