December 12, 2011 |
Here is a roundup of alleged cons, frauds and schemes to watch out for. Computer virus — The Federal Trade Commission has started mailing refunds to 300,000 consumers who were victims of a scam in which they were tricked into buying unnecessary software to remove nonexistent viruses and spyware from their computers. The perpetrators of the scheme caused ads to appear on victims' computers, informing them that a "system scan" had detected viruses and other threats that needed to be removed immediately.
August 17, 1989 |
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 30, 1994 |
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 |
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.
December 22, 2008 |
When money manager Bernard L. Madoff was arrested in New York recently for allegedly engineering a massive Ponzi scheme, Wall Street financiers were left slack-jawed at the unmasking of an establishment figure who seemed to be an unlikely fraud. The reaction was similar among many politicians in Washington. For years, Madoff was a generous donor to mostly Democratic causes and maintained a steady lobbying presence through the government relations firm of a former New York congressman.
February 5, 2009 |
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.
May 11, 1998 |
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.
November 25, 1990 |
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.
July 19, 2004 |
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.
January 12, 2010 |
The host of a popular Persian-language radio talk show was accused by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission of defrauding investors out of more than $20 million in a long-running investment scheme that targeted the Iranian American community. In a lawsuit filed Monday in federal court in Los Angeles, the SEC accused John Farahi; his wife, Gissou Rastegar Farahi; and their company, NewPoint Financial Services, of losing millions of dollars in volatile investments they had promoted as safe.