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Fraud

LOCAL
By Joseph Serna | March 9, 2010
A Newport Beach woman and her adult daughter are due in court today on charges of committing more than $16 million in real estate fraud by securing property loans for “straw buyers” who wouldn’t control the properties. Sushama Devi Lohia, 71, is scheduled to be arraigned in Orange County Superior Court’s Central Justice Center in Santa Ana. Her daughter Suniti Shah, 48, also of Newport Beach, will be there for a pretrial hearing on dozens of felony counts of conspiracy, forgery, forging documents and grand theft related to their alleged three-year scheme to receive millions in property loans under others’ names.
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LOCAL
By Candice Baker | October 6, 2009
A Huntington Beach woman, who turned herself in to authorities Monday, on Tuesday denied authorities’ accusations that she bilked clients out of thousands of dollars in an alleged mortgage-adjustment fraud through her Costa Mesa business. “I feel that the police did not listen to my clients who had successful loan modifications completed. I feel my side of the story needs to be heard,” Vickie Khanhvi Dang, 28, said in a statement. “We have testimonials from dozens of grateful clients to support our work,” she added.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna | January 20, 2009
Police said at least 50 people have come forward as alleged victims of a Newport Beach business owner suspected of making unauthorized charges on their credit cards since they announced his arrest in October. To date, Newport Beach police claim that they’ve found more than $1 million in unauthorized charges Hamid Derakhshi, 45, made on the credit cards of his clients. Derakhshi, a Newport Beach resident, owns A Classy Ride limo service, 3933 Birch St. Police said when people would use Derakhshi’s limo service, located near John Wayne Airport, he would provide the person with a credit card receipt and bill for the service.
LOCAL
By Joseph Serna | March 2, 2010
A Newport Beach financial advisor has been accused of ripping off two people, including a former intern from his company, out of hundreds of thousands of dollars for personal use. According to a complaint filed Monday in federal court by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Gary R. Headding, 41, stole more than $274,000 from two of his clients at Envision Direct LLC, where he is president and chief executive. In April 2007, Headding was the only financial investor left at the company, which months earlier had more than 50 clients and $40 million in funds.
BUSINESS
By Chris Caesar | May 14, 2008
The Securities and Exchange Commission brought charges against two current and former top officers of the Irvine-based Broadcom Corporation today, alleging they conspired over a period of five years to backdate the stock options granted to employees and executive officers. The complaint alleges that former Chief Executive Henry T. Nicholas, Chief Technology Officer Henry Samueli, former Chief Financial Officer William J. Ruehle and General Counsel David Dull manipulated the filing dates of employee and officer stock options to coincide with the dates of historically low closing prices, without properly recording the compensation expenses associated with such options.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna | November 26, 2008
When Costa Mesa resident Kathy Putney checked her bank account Wednesday morning to see which charges on her debit card had cleared, two transactions stuck out: charges totaling more than $400 at a Kmart in Torrance. “Uh, oh,” was her first reaction, Putney said outside the Costa Mesa police station Wednesday afternoon. Putney hadn’t been in Torrance Tuesday, and she certainly hadn’t been at any Kmart there. She had only used her card once the day before, at a gas station in a neighboring city, she said.
NEWS
By STEVE SMITH | December 21, 2005
I have used eBay many times over the past three years and have found it easy and fun. Not long ago, I ordered an item I had won in an online auction and filled out the necessary forms to have it delivered to my home. A couple of days later, I received an e-mail from PayPal, the online credit company that processes the eBay orders. The PayPal e-mail was notifying me that my account information was inaccurate and needed to be updated. In the body of the e-mail was a link to a page on the PayPal website to make it easy for me to update my information.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna, joseph.serna@latimes.com | August 5, 2010
A Newport Coast man with a record of securities violations has been charged again, this time with allegedly defrauding investors out of millions of dollars, according to federal regulators. Larry R. Crowder, 53, was charged Wednesday by the Securities and Exchange Commission with allegedly lying to investors about $11 million in investments supposedly headed for a green energy company. The federal complaint names Crowder and Joseph R. Porche, 51, of Aliso Viejo, as the leaders of an investment scheme that duped about 200 investors.
NEWS
By Bradley Zint | December 24, 2013
An Orange County Superior Court judge has dismissed charges against a radiologist from Newport Beach and co-defendants accused of widespread worker's compensation fraud. Prosecutors say they plan to refile the case. On Dec. 13, Judge William Froeberg dismissed the 884 counts against Dr. Sim Carlisle Hoffman, 61, who was indicted by a grand jury in May 2011. Froeberg said he based his ruling on the fact that evidence was withheld from the grand jury. Prosecutors had alleged that Hoffman, Dr. Thomas Michael Heric of Malibu, Louis Umberto Santillan of Chino Hills and Beverly Jane Mitchell of Westlake Village were part of a $17-million fraud scheme that billed insurance companies for expensive and unnecessary procedures, some of which were never performed.
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