CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 24, 1992 |
A Mission Viejo man suspected of bilking unemployed white-collar workers out of at least $150,000 through newspaper ads promising financial freedom pleaded not guilty to 21 counts of fraud on Thursday. Prosecutors say Guido Leo DeSmet, 64, presented as many as 27 victims with a bogus but sophisticated package of high-tech plans to make money through a variety of video and marketing ventures.
September 8, 1994 |
An Orange County Superior Court judge on Wednesday issued a temporary restraining order barring Teachers Management & Investment Corp. from seeking bankruptcy protection. The Newport Beach investment fund, which for 26 years has offered California educators an opportunity to invest in land and commercial properties, was sued Aug. 23 by four investors who alleged that the company is insolvent.
June 9, 1995 |
Investors in scandal-scarred First Pension Corp. have filed a $15-million claim against the state--a prelude to a lawsuit--accusing the Department of Corporations of failing to investigate the company's wrongdoing in 1992 and failing to warn investors.
February 13, 1998 |
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.
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.
March 17, 1993 |
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.
May 26, 1995 |
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."
August 25, 1994 |
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.
July 8, 1994 |
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.
March 11, 1999 |
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.