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.