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By Ashley Archibald

Daily Trojan (USC)

(U-WIRE) LOS ANGELES-Former University of Southern California adjunct professor Barry Landreth was arrested Friday by the FBI after allegedly embezzling $1.5 million in a real estate scam. Some victims were USC students.

Landreth offered investment opportunities in Chicago and Las Vegas through Webster Realty Investors Inc., a group for which he is both founder and chief executive officer, according to the FBI’s case affidavit.

The projects were hyped to investors as high-yield investment opportunities with potential returns of 190 percent within 30 to 45 days. But nobody received the profits of their investment, and only a few “persistent” investors were able to recover their principal investment. The biggest individual loss was $700,000.

He also assumed the identity of the fictional Christine Shipp, his “attorney” of seven years, in his dealings.

Landreth employed several USC students. Though some were promised salaries of $100,000 per year, eventually paychecks stopped coming. They were also told they had health insurance benefits that never materialized, according to the affidavit.

April 4, 2006

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.