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Report Calls Dominelli Both Warm, a Liar

June 25, 1985|BILL RITTER | San Diego County Business Editor

That J. David (Jerry) Dominelli was destined to be sentenced to many years in prison seemed a fait accompli Monday.

Even an independent criminal-justice consulting firm, hired by Dominelli's family, recommended that Dominelli be incarcerated for 15 years.

The report, submitted to the court Friday by Alternative Sentencing Resources, described in detail Dominelli's life and education, and offered some perspective from those who knew him about how he could have operated a fraud-ridden company that lured $200 million from 1,500 clients.

It was the first public show of support by Dominelli's family.

It was also an attempt to place at least part of the blame for the J. David imbroglio on the investors who were lured by the glitter of 40% annual returns.

"Americans of any stripe seem to have no rivals in their unquestioned acceptance of the baldest and most transparent of chicaneries, quackeries and hoaxes," the report said. "The plain fact is that a promise of 30%-to-40% returns from a commodity broker who claims only one losing month in three years is preposterous."

The report maintains that the government "checks which should have provided an earlier tip-off about this specific case never functioned properly."

The most intriguing insights were relayed by Dominelli's family and friends.

"He's generous to a fault," said Dominelli's estranged wife, Antje. "Even when we were in college and struggling, he would give his shirt off his back to help other people. I was supporting him then, and I would get angry and upset with him because he was giving away my money."

She said former J. David executive Nancy Hoover, who was Dominelli's live-in companion during the company's heyday, "did all the talking for him. Nancy would rant and rave about putting money in the company to other people and Jerry would focus on the business end. She filled that part of him. That's why they made such a great team."

Antje Dominelli wanted the date of Dominelli's sentencing moved because Monday was their daughter Jennifer's 11th birthday, she said in the report.

Hoover's son, George Jr., who said in the report that he lost $60,000 in J. David, described Dominelli as "a very warm person, but he's a pathological liar. He'll lie to make others feel good. I think he has serious emotional problems in this area."

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