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September 12, 1998 | E. SCOTT RECKARD, TIMES STAFF WRITER
An Orange County couple whose leasing scam led to the collapse of the Bank of Newport were sent to federal prison Friday and ordered to pay $4.3 million in restitution. U.S. District Judge George King in Los Angeles sentenced Lucy Looney Rau to a 6 1/2-year term. King said he wanted to impose a longer sentence but couldn't under federal law. Rau's husband, Charles Rau III, was sentenced to five years and three months.
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BUSINESS
September 12, 1998 | E. SCOTT RECKARD, TIMES STAFF WRITER
An Orange County couple whose leasing scam led to the collapse of the Bank of Newport were sent to federal prison Friday and ordered to pay $4.3 million in restitution. U.S. District Judge George King in Los Angeles sentenced Lucy Looney Rau to a 6 1/2-year term. King said he wanted to impose a longer sentence but couldn't under federal law. Rau's husband, Charles Rau III, was sentenced to five years and three months.
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BUSINESS
March 21, 1998 | JAMES S. GRANELLI, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A former executive of a now-defunct Costa Mesa leasing firm was charged Friday with conspiring to defraud two lenders of $12.5 million. Pennie Pleasant, 49, former vice president of Sonora Group Inc., also was accused of filing false income tax returns. She is expected to plead guilty to the charges in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, according to a plea agreement. She faces a maximum of 11 years in prison and a $750,000 fine.
BUSINESS
March 21, 1998 | JAMES S. GRANELLI, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A former executive of a now-defunct Costa Mesa leasing firm was charged Friday with conspiring to defraud two lenders of $12.5 million. Pennie Pleasant, 49, former vice president of Sonora Group Inc., also was accused of filing false income tax returns. She is expected to plead guilty to the charges in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, according to a plea agreement. She faces a maximum of 11 years in prison and a $750,000 fine.
BUSINESS
February 19, 1998 | JAMES S. GRANELLI, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A Newport Beach woman and her husband have pleaded guilty to defrauding three financial institutions of $14.2 million through a phony equipment lease scheme that relied on help from about 180 people, including several police officers. Through their Sonora Group Inc., Lucy F. Looney-Rau, 53, and Charles B. Rau III, 50, sold $12.5 million worth of equipment leases to Bank of Newport, which failed in August 1994 after discovering that there was no equipment underlying the leases.
BUSINESS
November 27, 1994 | JAMES S. GRANELLI, TIMES STAFF WRITER
It was a small scam, as frauds in affluent Orange County go. A financing company called the Sonora Group ripped off a Newport Beach bank and several other lenders for nearly $12 million, leading to the bank's failure in August. But what has regulators, federal authorities and lawyers shaking their heads is that the Sonora Group in Costa Mesa was able to get 234 generally law-abiding citizens--including a tax accountant and nearly a dozen police officers--to help it defraud the bank.
BUSINESS
October 21, 1994 | JAMES S. GRANELLI, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A Newport Beach man under investigation for criminal bank fraud by one arm of the U.S. Justice Department has been asked by another part of the agency to help operate a company that filed for bankruptcy protection this week. Charles B. Rau, who said he is waiting to see whether the U.S. attorney's office will seek criminal charges against him, said Thursday that he was hired this week by the U.S. trustee's office to operate a Costa Mesa motorcycle parts maker called Genuine Fisher.
BUSINESS
February 19, 1998 | JAMES S. GRANELLI, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A Newport Beach woman and her husband have pleaded guilty to defrauding three financial institutions of $14.2 million through a phony equipment lease scheme that relied on help from about 180 people, including several police officers. Through their Sonora Group Inc., Lucy F. Looney-Rau, 53, and Charles B. Rau III, 50, sold $12.5 million worth of equipment leases to Bank of Newport, which failed in August 1994 after discovering that there was no equipment underlying the leases.
BUSINESS
November 27, 1994 | JAMES S. GRANELLI, TIMES STAFF WRITER
It was a small scam, as frauds in affluent Orange County go. A financing company called the Sonora Group ripped off a Newport Beach bank and several other lenders for nearly $12 million, leading to the bank's failure in August. But what has regulators, federal authorities and lawyers shaking their heads is that the Sonora Group in Costa Mesa was able to get 234 generally law-abiding citizens--including a tax accountant and nearly a dozen police officers--to help it defraud the bank.
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