The publisher of a defunct Orange County business magazine is being investigated by the Riverside County district attorney's office for allegedly defrauding a 79-year-old retired schoolteacher of nearly $1.3 million in stocks and bonds.
Steven M. Sullivan, former publisher of Liberty Street Chronicle and a former stockbroker, also has been named in a civil suit filed in Orange County Superior Court. In her suit, Margaret Van Luven, a San Jacinto resident, is seeking $4.5 million in damages from Sullivan and several other defendants, including J. David Securities, where Sullivan worked as a senior vice president in the firm's Newport Beach office.
The criminal investigation by the Riverside County district attorney's office began last month and is expected to last until late June, Randall Tagami, supervising district attorney, said.
Tagami said that his office obtained a search warrant May 2 and used it to authorize seizure of business records from Sullivan's Newport Beach home and his former business at the Liberty Street Chronicle in Irvine.