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Investment Fraud California

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BUSINESS
July 26, 1997 | John O'Dell
A defunct Huntington Beach investment firm that has been accused of swindling elderly clients of $25 million in an oil-lease scam has been ordered to pay $122,197 to a Lakewood woman. An arbitration panel for the National Assn. of Securities Dealers found that Pacific Coast Financial Services Inc., its owners and a subsidiary defrauded Winifred Brown, an 80-year-old legally blind widow, of most of her savings. The award is to be paid by Pacific, its Beacon Energy Inc.
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BUSINESS
December 29, 2000 | From Bloomberg News
Pacific Genesis Group Inc., an Alameda-based municipal-bond underwriter, has been charged by U.S. regulators with fraudulently selling $70 million worth of bonds over four years to finance a Southern California housing development where the regulators allege little construction occurred. Pacific Genesis Chairman David Fitzgerald, who also was charged, said he and the firm would contest the Securities and Exchange Commission's civil-fraud allegations.
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BUSINESS
July 26, 1997 | JOHN O'DELL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A defunct investment firm accused of swindling elderly clients of $25 million in an oil-lease scam has been ordered to pay $122,197 to a Lakewood woman. An arbitration panel for the National Assn. of Securities Dealers found that Huntington Beach-based Pacific Coast Financial Services Inc., its owners and a subsidiary defrauded Winifred Brown, an 80-year-old legally blind widow, of most of her savings. The award is to be paid by Pacific, its Beacon Energy Inc.
BUSINESS
January 5, 2000 | Jeff Leeds
A federal grand jury in Los Angeles indicted two Southern California men, accusing them of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud by posting bogus e-mail messages to pump up investor interest in a thinly traded stock they owned. By using screen aliases to post e-mails on electronic bulletin boards, the men caused a run-up in the price of NEI Webworld, a bankrupt firm, from 13 cents to more than $15, the U.S. attorney's office said.
BUSINESS
January 5, 1999 | MAURA DOLAN, TIMES LEGAL AFFAIRS WRITER
Out-of-state investors may sue California companies in state court for illegal market manipulation, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday. The decision was a setback for the state's high-technology companies, which have been targets of many stock fraud suits, generally alleging that corporate officers inflated stock prices by making false statements about a company's prospects.
BUSINESS
January 15, 1992 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
City of Orange Describes Alleged Wymer Scam: The $7.1 million that the city of Orange believed that it was placing in a New York bank so it could be invested was misappropriated before it arrived at the bank, an attorney for the city alleged. Newport Beach money manager Steven D. Wymer placed the money in an account controlled by his firm, Denman & Co. of Irvine, in 1989 and sent Orange a forged document purporting to confirm that the account at Security Pacific Trust Co.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 10, 1993 | BARBARA MURPHY
A judge refused Friday to schedule a trial for a man indicted in what was once billed as the biggest fraud case in Ventura County history because the defendant's doctor said the ordeal could kill him. Superior Court Judge Allan L. Steele said he understands the prosecution's desire to bring Felix Laumann to trial but cannot justify forcing the issue at this time. Laumann, 57, suffers from a severe liver ailment and is awaiting an organ transplant.
BUSINESS
December 7, 1994 | JESUS SANCHEZ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
About 20,000 people nationwide have invested an estimated $1.5 billion over the past 18 months in allegedly phony retirement plans, which were falsely promoted on television as being approved by the Internal Revenue Service, securities officials from several states disclosed Tuesday. In California, the Department of Corporations--in its largest enforcement effort--has taken legal action against 426 individuals and entities that took in several hundred million dollars through the scheme, said G.
BUSINESS
May 5, 1993 | MICHAEL FLAGG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Dozens of Iowa cities defrauded by Newport Beach investment adviser Steven D. Wymer said Tuesday that they won a big victory when a federal appeals court agreed that $44 million in a Colorado bank belonged to them. Wymer pleaded guilty in September to defrauding cities in Iowa and California of what prosecutors said was $105 million. He is to be sentenced in Los Angeles next week.
BUSINESS
February 23, 1996 | THOMAS S. MULLIGAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
California regulators have sued Lloyd's of London, accusing the British insurance giant of defrauding 500 California investors, whose losses to date total $100 million and potentially much more.
BUSINESS
February 26, 1999 | From Bloomberg News
Municipal bond underwriter Pacific Genesis Group Inc. agreed to settle charges brought by state regulators that it defrauded investors by failing to disclose the risks of tax-exempt municipal bonds that helped finance speculative real estate deals, officials said Thursday. Under terms of the agreement, San Francisco-based Pacific Genesis Group agreed to market its land-backed bonds only to suitable investors and disclose risks connected with the transactions.
BUSINESS
January 5, 1999 | MAURA DOLAN, TIMES LEGAL AFFAIRS WRITER
Out-of-state investors may sue California companies in state court for illegal market manipulation, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday. The decision was a setback for the state's high-technology companies, which have been targets of many stock fraud suits, generally alleging that corporate officers inflated stock prices by making false statements about a company's prospects.
NEWS
August 29, 1997 | PAUL LEVIKOW, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
A financial advisor to professional athletes was charged Thursday with 38 felony counts of grand theft and forgery for allegedly stealing more than $9 million from 24 athletes and others over a 3 1/2-year period in which he allegedly maintained a lavish lifestyle. "We want to see the money," said Dist. Atty. Paul Pfingst, "because we would like to get restitution for the victims." John Walter Gillette Jr., owner of Pro Sports Management Investment Co.
BUSINESS
July 26, 1997 | JOHN O'DELL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A defunct investment firm accused of swindling elderly clients of $25 million in an oil-lease scam has been ordered to pay $122,197 to a Lakewood woman. An arbitration panel for the National Assn. of Securities Dealers found that Huntington Beach-based Pacific Coast Financial Services Inc., its owners and a subsidiary defrauded Winifred Brown, an 80-year-old legally blind widow, of most of her savings. The award is to be paid by Pacific, its Beacon Energy Inc.
BUSINESS
July 26, 1997 | John O'Dell
A defunct Huntington Beach investment firm that has been accused of swindling elderly clients of $25 million in an oil-lease scam has been ordered to pay $122,197 to a Lakewood woman. An arbitration panel for the National Assn. of Securities Dealers found that Pacific Coast Financial Services Inc., its owners and a subsidiary defrauded Winifred Brown, an 80-year-old legally blind widow, of most of her savings. The award is to be paid by Pacific, its Beacon Energy Inc.
BUSINESS
February 11, 1997 | JAMES S. GRANELLI, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A company that sold limited partnership interests in oil and gas ventures has closed its doors amid assertions that it swindled elderly investors out of more than $25 million with promises of profits from oil wells that never existed or weren't operating. Pacific Coast Financial Securities Inc., in a notice to about 1,100 investors, blamed its demise on litigation against the firm and its owners and operators.
BUSINESS
April 24, 1996 | THOMAS S. MULLIGAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Great Western Financial Corp., trying to shake a problem that is more clingy than a sleeve full of burrs, found its annual meeting picketed Tuesday for the second straight year by elderly protesters who claim the company fast-talked them into bad investments in mutual funds.
BUSINESS
February 11, 1994 | MICHAEL FLAGG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A state agency lost a round in federal bankruptcy court Thursday when a judge refused to give it control again of Washington Trust Deed Service Corp., a Newport Beach company accused of defrauding hundreds of elderly investors. The state Department of Corporations in December persuaded a state judge to appoint its hand-picked receiver to run the company in order to protect investors. To wrest control from the receiver, Washington's owner filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy a few days later.
BUSINESS
February 11, 1997 | JAMES S. GRANELLI, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A Huntington Beach company that sold limited partnership interests in oil and gas ventures has closed its doors amid assertions that it swindled elderly investors out of more than $25 million with promises of oil wells that never existed or weren't operating. Pacific Coast Financial Securities Inc., in a notice to about 1,100 investors, blamed its demise on litigation against the firm and its owners and operators.
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