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Oldenburg Is Convicted of 1 Fraud Count

December 14, 1989|From United Press International

SAN FRANCISCO — A U.S. District Court jury convicted financier J. William Oldenburg Wednesday of one count in a $26.5-million savings and loan fraud case but deadlocked on six other counts and was dismissed by the judge.

U.S. Atty. Joseph Russionello contended in the five-week trial that Oldenburg bilked the since-failed State Savings of Salt Lake City, which he controlled, by causing the thrift to buy a 363-acre Richmond, Calif., land parcel for $26.5 million in 1984.

The parcel was owned by another Oldenburg firm, Investment Mortgage International, of San Francisco, which was in financial trouble. The property had been acquired in 1979 for about $1 million.

The jurors convicted Oldenburg, 51, who once owned the Los Angeles Express of the now-defunct U.S. Football League, of the single count and told U.S. District Judge F. Lynch that after four days of deliberations, there was no reason to continue seeking unanimous agreement on the other counts.

The single count was for knowingly making a false entry in the minutes of a meeting of State Savings' board of directors. The entry was said to be false because it omitted a reference to $10 million transmitted to Oldenburg's San Francisco firm as part of the real estate transaction.

After they were dismissed, jurors Walter Threadgill of Pinole and Tami Mirner of Martinez said the jurors split 9 to 3 for conviction on all single remaining counts.

They said the minority was not persuaded that in his various transactions Oldenburg had the intent to defraud.

With a 9-3 vote, Russoniello said there was "a strong probability" he will seek a retrial on the six deadlocked counts. On the one-count conviction, Oldenburg faces a possible five-year prison term and a $10,000 fine. The judge set Feb. 9 for sentencing.

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