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THOUSAND OAKS | EAST VENTURA COUNTY FOCUS

Man Faces Charges in Cable Fraud Case

August 02, 1997|DAVID GREENBERG

A Thousand Oaks man appeared in Municipal Court on Friday to face 49 felony charges of state income tax evasion, grand theft and securities fraud in connection with marketing shares of a bogus cable television venture.

Barry D. Zinner, 54, is charged with defrauding 16 investors through a "boiler-room operation scheme" that marketed limited partnerships in the former Leisure Time Cable Co. and Private Communications Management Inc., both of Agoura Hills, according to Denise Quade, spokeswoman for the California Franchise Tax Board. Zinner allegedly diverted more than $240,000 into a personal account from 1992 to 1994, she said.

"They did do some limited cable operations but for the most part, the investors were misled," she said.

In addition to one count of grand theft and 45 counts of securities fraud--many of the 16 victims were bilked more than once--Zinner faces three tax evasion charges for allegedly failing to report the $240,000 he diverted over a three-year period, Quade said.

Zinner appeared in Los Angeles County Municipal Court in Malibu. He was arrested in September, along with his wife, Melissa.

Melissa Zinner, 46, recently pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of tax evasion in return for her cooperation with state authorities in building a case against her husband, Quade said.

"Her sentence will be suspended until her husband's case is resolved," Quade said. "But generally the maximum penalty for misdemeanor tax evasion is one year in County Jail."

Barry Zinner is scheduled to be arraigned in Malibu Aug. 14.

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