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Suspected robbers, rapist facing trials

Five have been charged with robbing noted subprime mortgage lender Daniel Sadek. Another man is accused of raping women in Irvine.

April 13, 2012|By Jon Cassidy

Five men charged with an armed invasion robbery of the Newport Coast home of former subprime mortgage lender Daniel Sadek are due to go on trial Monday.

The robbery, which reportedly took place during a weekly high-stakes poker game Sadek hosted, came two weeks after a Mercedes parked in his driveway blew up in the middle of the night.

Sadek made a fortune in subprime mortgages, using it to finance a movie and a high-roller lifestyle, but he lost it in the 2007 market collapse.

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Peter Paturzo of Mission Viejo and Antoine Boyd, Mickael Hastings, Ronnie Morrissette, and Darrin Mucker, all of Los Angeles, face at least nine counts of robbery, assault with a firearm, kidnapping and other felonies, according to court records.

On Dec. 8, 2009, the Newport Beach Police Department received several calls from Sadek's house reporting a robbery in progress, police said at the time.

Paturzo, Boyd and Hastings were arrested that night in the area; Morrissette and Mucker were arrested out of state a few months later, police said.

Three of Sadek's guests were hurt, including one of whom the intruders allegedly mistook for Sadek and pistol-whipped. Police said the intruders took watches, wallets, cell phones, cash and other valuables.

In 2009, Vanity Fair ranked Sadek as No. 86 on a list of those most responsible for the nation's economic problems. It called him "Predator Zero in the subprime-mortgage game," and someone who "would have written a loan to 'an insolvent arsonist.'"

The company Sadek founded in 2002, Quick Loan Funding, wrote some $4 billion in subprime mortgages before going under in 2007.

Sadek was known for the mansion and flying private jets to Las Vegas, where he eventually ran up big debts, according to court records. He had a fleet of Ferraris, Porsches and Saleen S7 cars that he crashed in the 2007 movie "Redline," which he financed.

Sadek, who had a third-grade education, got into the home loan business after noticing how many mortgage brokers bought cars from him at Fletcher Jones Motorcars, where he was a salesman.

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Sexual assault trial to begin

Also scheduled to start trial Monday is Travis Dewayne Batten of Irvine, who is accused of raping two women in Irvine and sexually assaulting another in Newport Beach.

By coincidence, Fletcher Jones was also Batten's employer. Batten is accused of breaking into the homes of three women he didn't know while wearing a mask in three crimes spread over five years.

On May 20, 2005, someone broke into the Newport Beach home of a 40-year-old woman while she was away, then threw her to the ground when she got home, restraining her with duct tape and sexually assaulting her, prosecutors said.

On Nov. 30, 2006, someone broke into the Irvine apartment of a 21-year-old woman while a wearing a mask and raped her.

On July 8, 2010, at the same Irvine apartment complex, a 24-year-old woman was raped.

According to prosecutors, Batten left DNA evidence at all three crime scenes.

In 2010, Irvine police were getting a lot of reports of a suspicious person near the apartment complex, so they conducted surveillance and came up with a fingerprint that matched one recovered from the Newport Beach crime scene.

Batten was arrested on his way to work July 21, 2011.

dailypilot@latimes.com

Twitter: @TheDailyPilot

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