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.
August 13, 1997 |
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.
March 15, 1992 |
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."
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.
May 12, 1993 |
Steven D. Wymer, the Newport Beach investment adviser who stole $92 million from clients, was sentenced Tuesday to 14 1/2 years in prison for what prosecutors said was one of the nation's biggest and most devastating financial scams. It was a victory for prosecutors, who had said Wymer should serve 15 1/2 to 19 1/2 years. In pleading guilty and agreeing to pay $92 million in restitution, Wymer had asked for a sentence of less than 10 years.
August 30, 2012 |
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.
August 23, 2005 |
Two former Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. executives defrauded investors by improperly accounting for $1.5 billion in revenue in 2000 and 2001, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Monday. Frederick Schiff, former chief financial officer for the No. 5 U.S.
April 14, 2009 |
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit Monday against an El Segundo investment firm, accusing its owner of operating a $23-million Ponzi scheme that targeted Latino investors from seven states. Clelia A. Flores and her company, Maximum Return Investments Inc., attracted about 150 investors from 2006 to 2008 by offering returns of 25% a month, the lawsuit alleged.