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Investment Fraud

NEWS
August 17, 1989 | MYRON LEVIN, Times Staff Writer
In a dreary subterranean archive near the Los Angeles County Hall of Records, 60 crates of documents testify to litigation run amok. They are part of a case known as Willow Ridge, which has generated more paper than any other in the history of Los Angeles Superior Court. The records would stand eight stories high if piled in one place. And they don't include hundreds of thousands of documents interred in a separate storage warehouse, or transcripts of as many as 1,000 depositions.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 30, 1994 | DAVAN MAHARAJ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
An Orange County Superior Court judge ruled Wednesday that an evangelical preacher had conned an heiress out of nearly $500,000 and ordered him to repay the money plus $250,000 in punitive damages. Mel Tari, 48, of Dana Point, an evangelist and author of several Christian books, must repay Christine Kline, 41, of Denver for the small fortune she signed over to him. Kline, who had inherited Capital Printing Co.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 1, 2000 | RICHARD WINTON, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Vengeance probably wasn't very high on your to-do list this holiday season. But it was for Karl S. Ryll, an otherwise unassuming El Monte teacher. Instead of spending his time around the punch bowl, Ryll spent part of his Christmas break halfway across the world, making sure that a treasure hunter named Dennis A. Standefer remained behind bars in a Jakarta, Indonesia, jail. For more than two years, Ryll, 39, has dedicated his energy to tracking Standefer.
BUSINESS
February 5, 2009 | Roger Vincent
Small investors accused a prominent California real estate brokerage and a former Orange County businessman in a lawsuit Wednesday of taking part in an elaborate scam that fleeced individual investors out of millions of dollars in recent years. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Jose, alleges that brokers at Marcus & Millichap allegedly took part in a conspiracy to buy small commercial properties, artificially inflate their values and sell them to unsuspecting investors.
BUSINESS
August 30, 2012 | By Stuart Pfeifer, Los Angeles Times
Michele Wein Layne decided on a career change 17 years ago when she was at her office at 10 p.m. poring over a mind-numbing legal document. Layne was an up-and-coming corporate litigation lawyer at a big Los Angeles law firm. But the grueling hours and unrewarding work left her miserable. She wanted something more meaningful, and soon after joined the Securities and Exchange Commission's local office as a lawyer fighting investment fraud and insider trading. After a series of promotions, she was chosen last month to lead the 150-person office.
NEWS
May 11, 1998 | MICHAEL A. HILTZIK, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The pitch sounded irresistible: Amid the hyperviolent sewage of commercial children's television, what could be more alluring than a cable channel devoted entirely to kids' shows featuring wholesome stars such as Shari Lewis and Bill Cosby? "No violence on the network--of course it sounded appealing," said Jeanne D'Amato, a Sun Valley investor who put up $10,000. Judy Klopfer, a Torrance nurse, invested 10 grand; a Westside minister put up his $125,000 retirement stash; a retired Lexington, Ky.
BUSINESS
November 25, 1990 | JIM SCHACHTER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
There's a certain kind of business known as a schlock operation. Its merchandise is schlock-- Yiddish for "knocked about," second-rate, fire-sale stuff. But the term also suggests a way of doing business, regardless of the merchant's ethnicity. The standard operating procedures are seat-of-the-pants. Ethics are checked at the door. Such operations and operators are staples of commerce, moving goods no one else will sell and serving a clientele that big business ignores.
BUSINESS
July 19, 2004 | E. Scott Reckard, Times Staff Writer
Orange County pastor Ralph A. Wilkerson has agreed to answer questions about a former associate accused of raising more than $160 million from evangelical Christians in an elaborate international investment fraud, Wilkerson's attorney said. Wilkerson, 77, was criticized last month by a court-appointed receiver who said the pastor had failed to help recover assets that would benefit people left destitute by the alleged scam run by Gregory E. Setser, an Inland Empire-based entrepreneur.
BUSINESS
August 13, 1997 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
An Orange County man who claimed he wanted to revive production of America's first motorcycle has been convicted of bilking investors in his Indian Motocycle scheme out of $830,000. A U.S. District Court jury deliberated for less than three hours Monday before finding Philip S. Zanghi II guilty of 12 counts of securities fraud, three counts of tax evasion and six counts of money laundering. Judge Frank Freedman scheduled sentencing for Zanghi, 51, of Mission Viejo, for Dec. 9.
BUSINESS
March 15, 1992 | TOM FURLONG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Any doubts Paul Sarkozy had about investing his life savings--about $600,000 of the settlement from an auto accident that left him a paraplegic--with John Rinaldo vanished after the glib moneyman hosted a dinner party for Sarkozy at a splendid house in Newport Beach. Set on a golf course behind security gates, the home dazzled Sarkozy, an Eastern European refugee unaccustomed to elegance. "I was impressed," Sarkozy said. "He was a man of means."
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