August 3, 2006
A Newport Beach man charged with swindling money lenders out of more than $9 million pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering, federal prosecutors announced Wednesday. Kenneth Christopher Ketner, 57, who ran Mortgage Capital Resource Corp., used mortgage money for personal expenses, federal prosecutors said. He pleaded guilty Tuesday. Newport Beach resident and attorney Allen Johnson, 59, pleaded guilty last year to wire fraud and money laundering for taking part in Ketner's scheme, prosecutors said.
August 7, 2001
Deepa Bharath LOS ANGELES -- An El Segundo man who pleaded guilty to putting out a bogus press release that cost Costa Mesa-based Emulex Corp. nearly $110 million in losses to investors was sentenced to 44 months in federal prison Monday. In addition to the prison sentence, Mark Simeon Jakob, 24, has been ordered to serve three years of supervised probation. U.S. District Judge Dickran Tevrizian said Jakob's scheme was like "dropping an atomic bomb on the stock market," officials said.
November 15, 2003
BRIEFLY IN THE NEWS Men in golf scheme convicted of fraud A federal jury on Thursday found two Costa Mesa men guilty of operating a telemarketing scheme that defrauded golfers out of more than $5 million. Rick Winters, 52 and Marvin Walker, 47, were each convicted of four counts of wire fraud and four counts of mail fraud. The trial lasted four weeks, and the jury deliberated for about two days. Another defendant, 44-year-old Glenn Totten of Thousand Oaks, was also convicted.
March 19, 2003
BRIEFLY IN THE NEWS Telemarketing scam lands man in prison A 35-year-old Newport Beach man was sentenced Tuesday to three years and five months in federal prison for having been part of a telemarketing scam that prosecutors say defrauded more than 12,000 people out of $4.4 million. Daniel Eugene Carr was also ordered to pay $1.7 million in fines. Two other men were also sentenced Tuesday for being part of the scheme that solicited victims through newspaper advertisements, enticing them to make money working from home.
February 18, 2005
A Newport Beach man who owned a mortgage business was arrested Thursday morning on charges he defrauded more than $9 million out of lenders and laundered funds through offshore accounts. Kenneth Christopher Ketner, 57, appeared in Santa Ana Federal Court Tuesday on a 14-count indictment, said Thom Mrozek, public affairs officer for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles. Ketner was expected to make the $150,000 bond and be released Thursday night, Mrozek said.
December 30, 2004
Local man fined for tax evasion A Newport Coast man on Monday was sentenced to 15 months in prison and ordered to pay nearly $500,000 in back taxes after pleading guilty to tax evasion. Michael Sanford Avnaim, 57, pleaded guilty to charges he underreported his taxable income for 1998 and 1999, according to a U. S. Department of Justice press release. Avnaim is president and sole shareholder of South Coast Container, Inc. in Fullerton. A district court judge ordered Avnaim to pay a $10,000 fine and nearly $500,000 in back taxes, according to the release.
August 25, 2001
-- Deepa Bharath A Newport Beach business owner is one of several people charged in connection with the alleged bribery of Colton city officials to help get approvals for construction of large freeway billboards in Colton between 1992 and 1997. A grand jury on Thursday indicted W. Shepardson McCook, 55, president of Newport Beach-based Oakridge Corp. and owner of Arcturus Outdoor Advertising Co.; San Bernardino County Supervisor Jerry Eaves, 62, who is a former state assemblyman; Colton Councilman Donald Sanders, 43; former Colton Mayor Karl Gaytan, 47; former Councilmen Abe Beltran, 69; and James Bruce Grimsby, 49. According to the U.S. Attorney's office, billboard company owner McCook gave Eaves numerous vacations that included stays for himself and others at the Stardust Hotel in Las Vegas.
June 12, 2007
A former executive of a Newport Beach-based video game company pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to mail fraud and embezzlement from the company. Christian Chatterjee, 39, the former Crave Entertainment senior vice president of Information Technology and Operations swindled the company out of about $297,531, prosecutors said. During his time there, Chatterjee was responsible for the distribution of gaming systems and oversaw the operation of the company's computers systems.
March 18, 2005
Defense rests in child molestation trial The defense rested its case Thursday in the trial of a Corona del Mar woman accused of sexually molesting a young teenage girl. Victoria Hawlish, 41, is accused of inappropriately touching the girl, who was 15 at the time, in 2003. The girl was a family friend who had been living in Hawlish's Corona del Mar home during the time of the alleged incidents. Last week the alleged victim testified that Hawlish had touched her breasts and buttocks about 40 times and bought her sex toys.
October 7, 2004
BRIEFLY IN THE NEWS Salesman to plead guilty to charges A former salesman for Newport Beach company DFJ Italia has agreed to plead guilty to charges he bilked investors out of money in an elaborate Ponzi scheme. Guy Scarpelli, 44, faces charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, structuring cash transactions to avoid reporting requirements and tax evasion, Assistant United States Atty. Michael C. Zweiback said. Scarpelli is the third person facing charges in connection with the Newport Beach-based company DFJ Italia.