Nancy Pelosi‘s son was involved in five companies probed by federal agencies – but has never been charged himself, a DailyMail.com investigation reveals.
A shocking paper trail shows Paul Pelosi Jr.’s connections to a host of fraudsters, rule-breakers and convicted criminals.
His years-long repeated business dealings raise two troubling questions Nancy’s son has been unable to answer: why did he get mixed up with such unsavory characters over and over, and how involved was he with the criminal investigations into his fraudster colleagues?
While Paul Pelosi Jr.’s mother once pledged to lead ‘the most honest, most open, most ethical Congress in history’, her son has a staggering wake of criminal colleagues, fraudulent companies and federal investigations.
Pelosi Jr.’s links to alleged lawbreakers include:
- The 52-year-old joined the board of a biofuel company after it defrauded investors according to an SEC ruling, and whose CEO was convicted after bribing Georgia officials
- Pelosi Jr. was president of an environmental investment firm that turned out to be a front for two convicted fraudsters
- He joined a lithium mining company and received millions of shares, allegedly issued as part of a massive $164 million fraud
- He was vice president of a company previously embroiled in an investigation of scam calls that targeted senior citizens
- He has close business ties with a man accused by the Department of Justice of running a fake UN charity that stole investors’ money
- A medical company Pelosi Jr. worked for tested drugs on people without FDA authorization, according to an FDA investigation
Pelosi Jr. has never been accused or charged with crimes relating to these cases.
But sources close to the Democrat power broker’s son – and even Pelosi Jr. himself – admit that some of his business dealings may have arisen from savvy entrepreneurs hiring him in an attempt to curry favor with his powerful family.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is unlikely to be comfortable with the string of convicted criminals and subjects of federal probes DailyMail.com has uncovered as her son’s business partners.
But despite all of his associations with criminals and alleged fraudsters, the powerful politician’s son has never been charged himself – and has tried to cultivate a squeaky-clean, green image.
Back in 2007, Pelosi Jr. was dubbed the ‘rising prince’ of the Pelosi political dynasty in a Men’s Vogue profile.
His mother, Nancy Pelosi, herself the child of a Maryland Democratic Congressman and Baltimore Mayor, had just ascended to Speaker of the House of Representatives. His father was a successful investor, and his cousin, current California Governor Gavin Newsom, was the mayor of San Francisco.
But Pelosi Jr. told the magazine he lived a spartan life, eating a six-egg omelet for breakfast, never turning on the heat or AC in his San Francisco apartment, taking care to not wash his clothes during peak energy consumption hours, and only using his old smart car – a hand-me-down from his parents – when the city’s electric bus wasn’t an option.
COLD CALL SCAMMERS
Though frugal, Pelosi Jr. certainly wasn’t strapped for cash in February 2007, he had just landed a $180,000 job as Senior Vice President at data company InfoUSA, despite already holding a full-time position as a home loan officer at Countrywide Home Loans in San Mateo and having no experience in database marketing.
The company was run by major Democrat donor Vinod Gupta, who had been embroiled in a criminal investigation by the Iowa Attorney General’s Office since 2004.
Investigators claimed that between 2001 and 2004 InfoUSA knowingly sold millions of consumers’ data to fraudsters who used the information to scam the elderly, stripping some of their life savings.
According to a 2007 New York Times report on the investigation, InfoUSA sold a list of 500,000 gamblers over age 55 called ‘Oldies but Goodies’, which described its members as ‘gullible’.
InfoUSA also sold lists of people with cancer or Alzheimer’s called ‘Suffering Seniors’, the Times reported. The data company denied their lists had such titles.
Iowa investigators found emails showing InfoUSA staff knew the firms they were selling to were being investigated for fraudulently targeting old people, but continued to sell the data regardless, the state’s AG said.
Gupta and InfoUSA cooperated with the Iowa investigation into the scammers and were not charged. The investigation was closed before Pelosi Jr. joined the company.
After the investigation was closed, the company said it had changed its practices, and that it ‘never characterized individuals on lists as ‘gullible.’ Nor does infoUSA compile lists entitled ‘Elderly Opportunity Seekers,’ ‘Suffering Seniors,’ or ‘Oldies But Goodies.’
Some believed Gupta appointed Pelosi Jr. to curry favor with his powerful mother, though Pelosi Jr. denied it at the time.
‘I don’t think that’s really what happens,’ he told news site NewsMax in 2007. ‘I don’t see it that way, but I could see why you’d ask the question… I guess you always wonder why somebody hires you, right?’
A FRONT COMPANY FOR CRIMINALS
In 2009, Pelosi Jr. was recruited to be president of an environmental investment company called Natural Blue Resources.
The firm was ostensibly formed to find and use new underground aquifers in New Mexico.
But a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation found that the company was in fact ‘secretly controlled’ by two convicted criminals, who used Pelosi Jr. and others as a front to let them ‘personally profit from the company without disclosing their past brushes with the law to investors’.
According to charges filed in 2014, Pelosi Jr. was recruited to create the firm along with former New Mexico governor and attorney general Toney Anaya by the two ‘consultants’, James Cohen and Joseph Corazzi.
Cohen had previously been jailed for financial fraud, and Corazzi had been charged with breaking federal securities laws and was permanently barred from acting as an officer of a public company.
Though Anaya was charged, Pelosi Jr. was not. Pelosi Jr. served as president and board member of Natural Blue from its public stock exchange listing in August 2009 for five months, and served on the board of another company run by Cohen’s wife.
When approached by DailyMail.com, the SEC declined to comment on Pelosi Jr.’s involvement in the case.
However, the SEC wrote in its conclusion to the case that Pelosi Jr. did not play a ‘meaningful role’ in one of the key transactions for the Natural Blue scheme, he ‘strenuously object[ed]’ to proposed fundraising contracts, was ousted from the board by the accused fraudsters, and ultimately appeared as a witness for the prosecution.
FRAUD AND BRIBERY IN ATLANTA
In October 2013 Pelosi Jr. landed a job as Vice President of biofuel company FOGFuels, according to a corporate press release.
If he had googled his new business partner, Pelosi Jr. would have known he was wading into murky territory. Just one month earlier the SEC announced that it had filed charges against the company and its founder, Paul Marshall.
The federal complaint said Marshall stole $3 million from mostly elderly investors in FOGFuels and another of his companies ‘to pay for a variety of Marshall’s personal expenses, including luxury vacations, child support and alimony payments, and private school tuition and camps for his children.’
At the same time, an Atlanta, Georgia official was found guilty of helping arrange city contracts for Marshall’s wireless internet company in exchange for bribes.
Marshall had previously agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in his $3 million fraud case, and was not charged in the bribery case.
FOGFuels, of which Pelosi Jr. was Vice President at the time, also won an Atlanta City Council resolution to turn waste restaurant grease into biofuel.
A councilman was subject to an ethics complaint over the vote, but the contract was never taken up, and neither Pelosi Jr. nor the company itself were charged in the FBI bribery probe.
FOGFuels was dissolved at the end of 2015. In 2018, Marshall was sentenced to six years in federal prison for defrauding investors, after cooperating with the FBI on the bribery case. He was released in 2020.
In 2014 Pelosi Jr. moved on to two new roles. The first was as Independent Director of Los Angeles-based drug company Targeted Medical Pharma, which, a year after Pelosi Jr. left the firm, was accused by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of testing drugs on people without authorization.
Pelosi Jr. quit the company seven months after joining according to SEC filings, and left the FOGFuels position off his LinkedIn resume completely.
After receiving a warning letter, the company told the FDA it ‘complied with all the applicable FDA regulations’, and had not broken any rules because it was not marketing its product, Theramine, as a drug in the US but rather as a ‘medical food’.
Targeted Medical Pharma told DailyMail.com the investigation was ‘a clerical issue on behalf of the FDA’.
The FDA did not take any further action against the company.
A ‘FAKE’ UNITED NATIONS CHARITY
Pelosi Jr. did decide to include a new full-time role on his LinkedIn resume in October 2014 as ‘Business Development Executive’ of the Corporate Governance Initiative (CGI) — though he has since removed it.
SEC filings say CGI is ‘a non-profit group’ focused on ‘transparency, capitalism and building sustainable organization[s]’ and that Pelosi was promoted to Executive Director of the organization in December 2015.
Ironically, it was through this ethics-focused job that he developed close ties with an alleged scammer accused by the DoJ of running a fake charity.
In November 2019, prosecutors accused New York-based executive Asa Saint Clair of running a cryptocurrency scam through his charity, the World Sports Alliance, which they described as a ‘sham affiliate of the United Nations’.
‘Saint Clair allegedly defrauded investors in IGObit, a digital currency he claimed WSA [World Sports Alliance] was developing, but which turned out to be the fraudulent bait with which to lure victim investors,’ the DoJ said.
Prosecutors say the alleged fraudster recruited investors between 2017 and September 2019 by claiming their money would help developing countries around the world – but instead used the cash ‘to pay his personal expenses, including dinners at Manhattan restaurants, airline tickets, and online shopping.’
Saint Clair, who was reportedly arrested in California trying to get on a plane to Madagascar by way of Paris, has been charged with wire fraud and faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. He is pleading not guilty. His case is due to be heard in March.
Pelosi Jr. endorsed the allegedly fraudulent digital currency on its website in January 2018, saying: ‘IGOBit is the absolute best offering I have ever seen.’
Press releases show Pelosi Jr.’s organization, CGI, had close ties with Saint Clair and his alleged scam charity.
A December 2016 CGI press release proclaimed that Saint Clair had ‘officially endorsed’ the organization, announcing he will be working closely with them and pouring praise on Pelosi Jr..
Saint Clair described Pelosi Jr. as ‘a longtime associate, both business and personal’ in the press release, and the House Speaker’s son is quoted as saying ‘I agree whole heartedly with Mr. St. Clair’, and ‘I am honored Mr. St. Clair has followed the same path I’ve taken’.
Another CGI press release from March 2017 proclaimed WSA’s ‘support [for] Paul Pelosi Jr. and the CGI in its quest for proper corporate and social governance.’
Pelosi Jr has not been charged or named in any public court documents in Saint Clair’s case.
A $164 MILLION FRAUDULENT SHARES SCHEME
Oroplata Resources, a lithium mining company, announced Pelosi Jr. had joined the firm as a Senior Advisor in July 2016.
One month earlier, Oroplata’s company leadership was accused of ‘breaching its fiduciary responsibility’ and ‘fraudulently’ issuing $26 million of shares without the approval of the board of directors, according to a 2018 Nevada civil lawsuit.
The lawsuit, which was brought by Oroplata against its old management, claimed that the former Chairman, President and CEO awarded 16 million shares worth $26 million ‘to themselves and close ally recipients’ without board approval, a move the lawsuit described as ‘fraudulent’.
The company has since changed its name to American Battery Metals Corporation.
A source close to the company told DailyMail.com that Pelosi Jr. received 2.8 million of the allegedly fraudulent shares in July 2016.
The source said Pelosi Jr. bought the shares for $2,800, when their market value was between $4,228,000 and $5,152,000.
According to Boston federal prosecutors, the alleged fraudulent share scheme was one of a collection of stock scams all coordinated by a Swiss financier, now convicted for the $164 million securities fraud.
Prosecutors claimed the financier replicated the alleged fraudulent activity in Oroplata in many other companies as part of a ‘massive global securities fraud scheme that netted proceeds of approximately $164 million.’
In January 2020 the man at the center of the huge ‘pump-and-dump’ scheme, Swiss asset management firm owner Roger Knox, 49, pled guilty to securities fraud.
Documents from the federal case say Oroplata was one of several companies ensnared in the scheme.
Knox now faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $5 million.
Pelosi Jr. was not named in the criminal case or the Nevada civil case brought by Oroplata.
Pelosi Jr. declined to comment when contacted by DailyMail.com.