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Investment Fraud Orange County

BUSINESS
August 18, 1998 | Times Wire Services
As agreed when he pleaded guilty in May, developer Donald H. Williams Jr. was sentenced Monday to three years in prison and ordered to repay $30.5 million to investors, many of whom were retirees who gave up nest eggs for promises of 15% annual returns. Williams, 50, of Lake Forest, turned Hill Williams Income Funds into one of the state's biggest Ponzi schemes targeted at elderly investors. Assistant U.S. Atty. John Hueston said Williams agreed to repay 2,500 investors the $30.5 million.
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BUSINESS
August 4, 1998 | BARBARA MARSH, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Paul R. Safronchik, the former chief executive of the now-defunct Home Theater Products International Inc., was sentenced Monday to three years in federal prison for a scheme in which his company logged millions of dollars of bogus sales. Prosecutors said investors in the Anaheim company lost more than $20 million as a result of the scheme. Safronchik, 37, of Aurora, Ore., also was ordered by Judge Gary L. Taylor to pay $300,000 in restitution to investors.
BUSINESS
July 24, 1998 | P.J. Huffstutter
Federal prosecutors on Thursday asked a federal appeals court to overturn last month's decision to grant a new trial to Charles H. Keating Jr., the former head of Lincoln Savings who was convicted on charges of looting the Irvine-based thrift and swindling investors. "We think the decision is not only at odds with Supreme Court rulings and rulings in other circuits, but creates an unworkable rule of law," said Miriam A. Krinsky, chief of criminal appeals at the U.S.
BUSINESS
July 2, 1998 | PATRICE APODACA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Investors in an alleged $9-million oil-and-gas leasing investment scam that targeted elderly people filed a fraud suit Wednesday in Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana. The complaint against Denver-based First Trust Corp. and Sandstone Income Fund V and Liberty Energy Management Inc., both of Laguna Niguel, and five men who allegedly orchestrated the investment fraud was brought by two Orange County residents and the estate of a deceased investor.
BUSINESS
July 1, 1998 | JOHN O'DELL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
An Orange County couple who lost $207,646 in an alleged oil lease scam several years ago have won a $2.6-million court judgment against the defunct Huntington Beach investment companies that ran the telemarketing operation. Ronald and Joan Grosse of Garden Grove won the judgment against Beacon Energy Inc. and Beacon Income Fund XVIII. The two companies, however, are subsidiaries of Pacific Coast Financial Services Inc.
BUSINESS
July 1, 1998 | PATRICE APODACA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Douglas Roy, former controller of the now-defunct Home Theater Products International Inc., has been sentenced to six months' home detention for his role in a bogus sales scheme at the Anaheim company. Roy, a 29-year-old Pomona resident, pleaded guilty last September to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and could have received up to five years in prison. In addition to the home detention, he was placed on three years' probation by U.S. District Judge Gary L. Taylor in Santa Ana.
BUSINESS
June 24, 1998 | E. SCOTT RECKARD, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Four Orange County residents operating as the Ostrich Group Inc. duped investors out of $800,000 in a bird-breeding scheme, the Securities and Exchange Commission contended in a lawsuit filed Tuesday. Investors were told the money would be used to buy breeder ostriches and sell the offspring, "generating substantial cash-flow revenues in a very short while," the SEC said in its complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.
BUSINESS
May 19, 1998 | Davan Maharaj
Former Orange County real estate developer Donald Hill Williams Jr. pleaded guilty in federal court to 11 counts of investment fraud. Williams will be sentenced Aug. 17 by U.S. District Judge Alicemarie H. Stotler in Santa Ana. When Williams appeared before Stotler, he acknowledged that he ran a Ponzi scheme, soliciting money from new investors to pay off earlier obligations. Williams said he tricked investors into depositing $34 million in two limited partnerships that he controlled.
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
May 9, 1998 | DAVAN MAHARAJ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Donald Hill Williams Jr., the real estate developer who operated one of the state's largest Ponzi schemes targeting elderly investors, agreed Friday to plead guilty to 11 counts of investment fraud. He faces about three years in federal prison. Williams also promised to repay $30.5 million to 2,500 investors of his now-defunct Anaheim Hills firm, according to a plea agreement with federal prosecutors. The agreement, filed in U.S.
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