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O.C. financier Danny Pang indicted

The two-count criminal indictment accuses Pang of structuring hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash transactions in 2007 to avoid government scrutiny. He has denied wrongdoing.

July 23, 2009|Stuart Pfeifer

An Orange County federal grand jury returned a two-count criminal indictment Wednesday accusing Newport Beach financier Danny Pang of evading currency reporting laws.

The indictment accuses Pang of structuring hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash transactions in 2007 to avoid scrutiny from the federal government. The charges are similar to allegations that federal prosecutors filed against Pang in April.

Pang, who is free on bail, has denied wrongdoing. Charles Sipkins, a spokesman for Pang, said, "Mr. Pang believes these charges are false and he looks forward to being vindicated at trial."

The indictment comes as Pang faces an SEC lawsuit accusing him of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from investors -- primarily Taiwanese banks -- in his Irvine-based Private Equity Management Group. At the request of the SEC, a federal judge has frozen Pang's assets and placed a receiver in charge of the company.

According to the indictment, Pang concealed more than $300,000 from the government by having friends and relatives cash 40 checks for amounts just below the $10,000 figure that would have required banks to report the transactions to the government.

He is also accused of making 10 cash withdrawals from East West Bank for just below $10,000.

The U.S. attorney's office made similar allegations against Pang in a criminal complaint in April, charges that led to Pang's arrest. Wednesday's grand jury indictment was a required step to allow the case to proceed to trial.

Pang, 42, first made headlines in 1997 when his wife, a former stripper named Janie, was shot to death in the couple's Villa Park home.

Orange County sheriff's deputies later arrested Pang's attorney, Hugh "Randy" McDonald, and charged him with murdering her.

Orange County prosecutors accused McDonald of killing Janie Pang, staging his suicide from the Golden Gate Bridge and then going into hiding. A jury was unable to reach a verdict, and prosecutors elected not to pursue a second trial.

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stuart.pfeifer@latimes.com

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