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2 O.C. Men Face Telemarketing Fraud Charges

May 21, 1999|Robin Fields

Two Orange County men face fraud and money-laundering charges for their parts in a telemarketing scheme that allegedly bilked 300 elderly people out of more than $4.5 million. A federal grand jury indicted Ahri Gareen, 41, of Huntington Beach, and John Locasio, 49, of Newport Beach late Wednesday. Locasio surrendered to the FBI on Thursday. Gareen was not in custody, prosecutors said. From 1994 to 1996, Gareen and Locasio were sales managers for Dimension Capital Group, an Irvine boiler-room operation that sold investments in a chain of carwashes, federal investigators said. They allegedly promised investors a 12% annual return in exchange for cash upfront, but no carwashes were built. Investors nationwide gave Dimension Capital tens of thousands of dollars apiece, company bank records show.

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