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Investment Fraud Orange County

BUSINESS
February 13, 1998 | P.J. HUFFSTUTTER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In its first investor fraud case against an Internet service provider, a federal regulator accused two Orange County men and their company of raising nearly $1.1 million for an online access firm that may not have existed. The Securities and Exchange Commission alleges in a lawsuit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, that Steven P. Hevell and Jim D. James sold unregistered securities to at least 56 investors.
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BUSINESS
November 9, 1994
A judge has delayed until Dec. 7 the sentencing of the owners of First Pension Corp., who admitted to operating a Ponzi scheme for more than 10 years through the pension management firm. The sentencing for the three Irvine pension firm operators, originally scheduled for Thursday, will be at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 7, according to an order signed by U.S. District Judge John G. Davies in Los Angeles this week. The sentencing, which will be open to the public, will be at the Edward R.
BUSINESS
March 17, 1993 | JAMES S. GRANELLI, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A jury of seven men and five women was selected Tuesday to decide the fate of Michael E. Parker, a Newport Beach businessman accused of defrauding the now-defunct Columbia Savings & Loan of $11 million. Testimony in the federal case is scheduled to begin today after opening statements by the prosecution and the defense. Parker is charged in a 39-count indictment with racketeering, conspiracy, fraud, money laundering and tax evasion.
BUSINESS
May 26, 1995 | ROSS KERBER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
From a bustling but modest office here, Harold (Hal) Tobin attracted investors for his housing developments with a sales offering that had worked for years--himself. "He'd ask you about your golf game; he knew everybody by their first name," said Ted Lewis, a Costa Mesa resident who invested $25,000 of his savings in Tobin's housing developments. "If somebody asked you whether to invest with him, you had to say, 'Sure,' because you knew you could trust him."
BUSINESS
August 25, 1994 | DEBORA VRANA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Operators of Teachers Management & Investment Inc., accused in a lawsuit of mishandling tens of millions of dollars in teacher retirement funds, said Wednesday they "absolutely deny" the allegations and vowed to fight them in court. TMI, which raised perhaps $1 billion from 60,000 teachers, blamed the fund's losses on the collapse of the real estate market in California.
BUSINESS
July 8, 1994 | DEBORA VRANA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Two couples who say they lost more than $200,000 in retirement funds in the failure of First Pension Corp. sued the owners of the Irvine-based pension management company Thursday, accusing them of deception and fraud. Their suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, alleges that William E. Cooper, who was First Pension's president, and other individuals and companies violated securities laws and engaged in fraud, deceit, negligence and unfair business practices.
BUSINESS
March 11, 1999 | JONATHAN GAW, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Law enforcement officers raided two Orange County companies Wednesday looking for evidence related to a scheme that allegedly defrauded more than 100 investors of over $4 million. Investigators are looking for Robert L. Syrax, who ran two businesses, Gecko Holdings of Irvine and RLS Consulting in Costa Mesa. The companies solicited money from people to invest in what turned out to be a nonexistent online gambling venture, authorities said.
BUSINESS
May 15, 1998 | PATRICE APODACA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Three former executives previously convicted of carrying out a bogus sales scheme at an Anaheim home theater systems company have agreed to repay nearly $1.2 million in profits from the fraud to settle a lawsuit by the Securities and Exchange Commission. But SEC spokesman James A. Howell said the payments were waived after the men produced financial statements showing they didn't have enough money. The complaint and the agreement were filed Wednesday in federal court in Santa Ana.
BUSINESS
June 8, 1995 | JAMES S. GRANELLI, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Investors bilked out of more than $136 million last year in the First Pension Corp. scandal started calling on their politicians Wednesday--not to get stronger laws passed but to get some of their money back from the lawmakers. An ad hoc committee for about 8,000 investors wants refunds on campaign contributions that convicted swindler William E. Cooper, First Pension's founder, made to a host of current and former Republican officeholders from Gov.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 12, 1995 | TINA NGUYEN
Police are seeking a 41-year-old Corona del Mar man suspected of using a bogus investment scheme to cheat about 25 investors, mainly senior citizens on fixed incomes, out of more than $480,000. An arrest warrant has been issued for Anthony Joseph Petrelli, suspected of luring investors into a real estate swindle fund by promising them 14% to 18% interest, Police Lt. Paul Henisey said Wednesday.
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