Former Orange County developer Harold E. Tobin was accused in a federal lawsuit Tuesday of selling unregistered securities and defrauding investors of nearly $5 million in a botched effort to build homes in Las Vegas.
The Securities and Exchange Commission charges in its civil action, filed in federal court in Los Angeles, that Tobin and his Huntington Beach company defrauded 90 mostly elderly investors in the real estate development he called Rancho Mirage.
The SEC action alleged that investors in 10 states put $4.95 million into Tobin Investment Corp. for the project in the four months before the company's collapse in February 1995.
The agency accuses Tobin of spending most of the investors' money on construction costs for other projects, on interest payments to previous investors and on undisclosed sales commissions and payments to his firm. The SEC wants the money returned to investors and wants an order enjoining Tobin from violating securities laws in the future.