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12 Counts for Hiding Assets : Ex-Chief of Ramona S & L Guilty of Contempt

February 02, 1988|JAMES S. GRANELLI

A federal judge Tuesday found John L. Molinaro, deposed head of Ramona Savings & Loan in Orange, guilty of 12 counts of contempt for violating court orders by concealing about $4 million in assets, including $3 million in cash shipped to accounts in offshore banks.

U.S. District Judge Alicemarie H. Stotler ordered Molinaro to turn over the funds to the court pending resolution of the civil case filed against him by the Federal Savings & Loan Insurance Corp., which is acting as receiver of the failed S & L.

Until he complies, Stotler ruled, Molinaro will remain in prison. Molinaro's two-year prison term, imposed last month by a federal court in San Francisco for trying to obtain a false passport to flee the country, will be tolled. That means the sentence on the passport felony will continue to run only after he turns over the money, an FSLIC lawyer said.

Molinaro, meanwhile, has switched defense attorneys and is trying to withdraw guilty pleas he made in November to four criminal fraud charges. Those charges allege that he approved $10 million in loans to business associates, who passed along most of the money to another friend who wanted to buy the S & L.

Stotler had frozen Molinaro's assets shortly after federal regulators declared his S & L insolvent and seized it in September, 1986. The FSLIC then uncovered evidence that Molinaro, who has been married three times, had transferred millions to his second and third former wives and that, together with the third ex-wife, had moved $3 million to accounts in banks on two Caribbean islands.

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