CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 15, 2001 |
A Laguna Niguel man was convicted Thursday of bilking investors, most of them elderly Orange County residents, out of more than $10 million by selling them practically worthless oil and gas partnerships. After deliberating for two days, a U.S. District Court jury in Santa Ana found Lance Van Alstyne, 34, guilty of engaging in a Ponzi scheme from 1992 to 1994. "As Ponzi schemes go, this is a medium-sized one," said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles.
April 26, 2001 |
A twice-convicted Fullerton man was arrested Wednesday on charges of bilking at least 130 investors out of more than $15 million in a yearlong Ponzi scheme that promised huge returns for trading in offshore letters of credit. Scott K. Yoshizumi, 39, faces 24 criminal counts of fraud and money laundering in a federal grand jury indictment that was returned Tuesday. He was ordered held without bail Wednesday as a flight risk and an "economic danger" to the community, said Assistant U.S. Atty.
November 30, 2000 |
On the last night of 1998, Luigi DiFonzo descended the spiral staircase of his mansion in Laguna Niguel and beheld the wealth and power before him. Millions of dollars had poured into his investment firm, DFJ Italia Ltd., and they flowed through every inch of his 14,000-square-foot hilltop castle. Italian marble covered the floors. The cabinets contained crystal glasses etched with his initials. The pool table was mounted on carved wooden lions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 14, 2000 |
Luigi DiFonzo, who died two months ago amid accusations that he swindled investors out of $40 million, used prescription drugs to commit suicide, according to an autopsy report released Friday by the Orange County sheriff-coroner's office. But the widow of DiFonzo immediately decried the results and said she would challenge them. "There were a million different ways he could have died," Brenda DiFonzo said in an interview Friday. "I'm not going to let them shove him under the rug."
July 19, 2000
An Orange County jury has convicted a former investment advisor of bilking an elderly Garden Grove woman, who is now dead, out of $603,000 that she had intended to benefit more than a dozen charitable organizations. Stephen Cuccia Jr., 41, was found guilty Monday of one count of attempted grand theft and six violations of state securities law, including making material misrepresentations in the sale of securities. He faces a maximum sentence of seven years in prison when he is sentenced Sept. 1.
June 20, 2000 |
A former Orange County man who created a sham mutual fund pleaded guilty Monday in Santa Ana federal court to cheating 250 investors out of millions of dollars. From 1983 until his scheme collapsed in 1997, Wilfred J. Madon claimed to run a stock fund called Capital Growth Group, which he said had $46 million in assets and compared favorably to Fidelity Investments' high-profile Magellan Fund, prosecutors said.