An Oxnard man engaged to one of the original members of "The Mickey Mouse Club" pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to 21 counts stemming from his role in a securities fraud scheme.
Jerry J. Fraschilla is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 16 in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, according to Assistant U.S. Atty. Jack S. Weiss. Fraschilla's attorney declined comment Thursday.
Fraschilla's fiance, Darlene Faye Gillespie, one of the original members of the "Mickey Mouse Club," is scheduled to go on trial Sept. 14 on charges of conspiracy, securities fraud and mail fraud, obstruction of justice and perjury.
The couple were arrested Dec. 3 at their Oceanaire Drive home in Oxnard on suspicion of engaging in a fraudulent stock-buying practice known as "free riding," in which they allegedly purchased stock in 1992 and 1993 without the means or intention of paying for the securities.
Authorities accused them of opening accounts at six brokerage houses under the name of Michael Andrews--a fictitious person--and in the names of companies they controlled. Many of the more than 194,000 shares of Unique Mobility Inc.'s common stock they bought were under so-called margin agreements, effectively borrowing money from the brokerages to pay for the trades, authorities said.
A federal indictment alleged the pair tried to pay for the shares with checks on closed and overdrawn bank accounts.