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Grandstanding for the Prosecution

December 09, 1986|Bill Ritter

It's highly unusual, but Jeffrey A. Gardner, the attorney for the bankruptcy trustee of Lease-1 Financial Services, an alleged automobile subleasing scheme, has asked a bankruptcy court judge to order San Diego County Dist. Atty. Edwin Miller and U.S. Atty. Peter K. Nunez to prosecute the company's owner.

A court hearing is scheduled for Dec. 17.

But the request, filed last week, sparked a strong--and negative--reaction from law enforcement authorities.

"It's a bunch of B.S.," said one investigator, who pledged "there will be a case issued against (Lease-1), hopefully, before Dec. 17."

Lease-1, R&S Towing and Koala T. Leasing allegedly sold at least 150 subleased cars without the owners' or original lenders' permission. Both the FBI and Miller's office are investigating.

Canadian's Crowning Touch Delayed

The latest round in the contest for corporate control of Crown Bancorp: The deadline for Canadian financier Dallas Stanley's capital infusion proposal has been extended until Dec. 17.

Officials at Crown, holding company for the Bank of Coronado and Capital Bank of Carlsbad, have asked Stanley for some "clarification" on the plan, according to Roy Bell, Stanley's attorney.

Stanley wants to assume the $1.5-million note Crown owes to a Canadian bank. In exchange, he wants two seats on Crown's board and the right to shepherd a public stock offering.

Crown officials are hesitant because Stanley's board seats would tip the balance of power away from management, which controls four seats, and toward the three Crown dissident directors, according to company sources.

Crown Chairman Philip Akre would not return repeated phone calls from The Times. But recently, he told the San Diego Daily Transcript that "there's a lot of things to decide" regarding the Stanley proposal. "We're taking it point by point," he said.

Summers' Sun Suits Just Won't Set

For the second time, developer Harry L. Summers has been sued for allegedly selling his stock in now-defunct Sun Savings & Loan, where he was chairman, after he found out about Sun's financial woes.

Ledo Financial, a Rancho Santa Fe brokerage firm headed by Lee D. Dodson, claims that the $500,000 it lent Sun for 30 days in 1984 was used to buy back Summers' stock. At the time, Summers reportedly held about 100,000 shares of Sun stock, then trading for about $15 per share.

When it was seized and closed by federal regulators in July, Sun's stock traded at $1.50 a share.

Dodson was given stock in return for the loan; by the time he sold it, the stock had dropped to $3.50 per share, meaning he had taken a $383,100 loss, according to his attorney, Nic Coscia.

Earlier this year, Summers was sued for virtually the same thing by a management firm owned by dentist and entrepreneur Leonard Bloom.

Alex MacDonald, Summers' attorney, called the two suits "groundless."

"It will be resisted," he said.

A side note: Ledo Financial was sued last year by Sun, which claimed that the firm improperly lured Sun to buy loans on two Denver condo developments with allegedly inflated values.

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