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Ponzi Scheme

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NEWS
By Joseph Serna, joseph.serna@latimes.com | November 3, 2010
NEWPORT BEACH — A Tustin businessman was sentenced to five years and four months in prison Wednesday for operating a Ponzi scheme that drained a dozen Orange County residents — some of them from Costa Mesa — out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings. Paul Abad, 46, pleaded guilty to 25 felonies as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach. As owner of Thirteen Thirty-Two Inc., Abad swindled people out of more than $760,000 by convincing them that they were investing in futures and commodities.
NEWS
From staff reports | August 31, 2010
A 68-year-old Orange man has been sentenced to 18 years in state prison for bilking $2.6 million from investors in a Ponzi and real estate fraud scheme, which targeted some elderly Newport Beach-area residents. Joseph Anthony Veltre pleaded guilty to 112 felony counts, including 60 counts of grand theft, 17 counts of elder financial exploitation by a non-caregiver, 17 counts of residential burglary, 13 counts of forgery, three counts of recording false documents, one count of commercial burglary, one count of identity theft, and white-collar-crime sentencing enhancements for loss of more than $500,000, the Orange County district attorney's office said Tuesday in a news release.
NEWS
By Jeremiah Dobruck | December 11, 2013
A local businessman who was paid tens of thousands of dollars by Costa Mesa to act as a consultant during the city's 60th anniversary celebration is suspected of participating in a Ponzi scheme that cheated a Newport Beach man out of millions, according to a lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Roland Barrera of Costa Mesa allegedly worked as a salesman in an investment scam run out of Austin, Texas, that collected almost $18 million from at least 80 clients who were promised generous returns from oil and gas securities.
NEWS
November 15, 2007
A Newport Beach man accused in a Ponzi scheme has agreed to plead guilty to charges of federal fraud and money laundering, federal prosecutors said Wednesday. John Carl Willy, 64, is accused of running a phony investment business, promising investors a return of 10% a quarter or more. The charges filed Monday include two counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. Willy has agreed to plead guilty to all three counts, prosecutors said. The maximum sentence for those counts is 50 years in federal prison.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna | August 6, 2008
Newport Beach-based MKA Capital Group Advisors LLC has been running a Ponzi scheme on its investors, according to a Newport Beach couple suing the company. According to the lawsuit, filed in Orange County Superior Court July 28, MKA Capital Group, a real estate investment-management firm worth between $400 million and $500 million, has been using new investors’ money to cover losses suffered by the group’s “Opportunity Fund” investors. The Opportunity Fund is a fund created to make loans to real estate developers in hopes of turning a profit.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna | September 3, 2009
If a federal case out of Florida is any indication, Newport Beach continues to be the destination for the young and wealthy. Among the trips and expensive toys federal authorities claim Beau Diamond of Sarasota, Fla., bought through a $37-million Ponzi scheme was a luxury condominium in Newport Beach that goes for $16,000 a month. Diamond, 31, was arrested and booked in Florida on Wednesday on suspicion of committing wire fraud, money laundering and bilking more than 200 people around the country out of more than $37 million.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna | January 23, 2009
Police are looking for a Costa Mesa man state officials implicated Friday in an alleged $52-million Ponzi scheme that has swindled more than 1,000 people out thousands, if not millions, of dollars. Authorities say Scott Yard, 47, was one of six men who between 2001 and 2006 helped Irvine-based Carolina Development Company dish out more than $52 million in stock to thousands of investors with promises the money would be invested in real estate near golf courses and return profits.
NEWS
May 15, 2002
A Corona del Mar man was sentenced Tuesday to seven years in federal prison for running a large Ponzi scheme that defrauded about 350 victims of nearly $8.7 million. Steven Hevell, 38, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Alicemarie H. Stotler, who also ordered that Hevell pay about $8.6 million in restitution. The victims were defrauded by a high-technology investment scheme that Hevell operated between 1994 and 1997. Hevell pleaded guilty in February to three counts of mail fraud.
LOCAL
January 25, 2008
A Newport Beach man accused in a Ponzi scheme pleaded guilty to all charges Friday, according to federal prosecutors. John Carl Willy, 64, pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering, Assistant U.S. Atty. Douglas McCormick said. Willy had initially pleaded not guilty at his arraignment, but changed his plea Friday afternoon before the federal judge. McCormick stated most defendants plead not guilty in front of the magistrate judge before heading to federal court.
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NEWS
By Paloma Esquivel | December 18, 2013
A Newport Beach man who prosecutors say ran a Ponzi scheme that stole nearly $3 million from investors has been extradited from Panama to face trial in Orange County.   Thomas F. Tarbutton allegedly fled to Brazil in 2011 after charges were filed and a warrant was issued for his arrest, according to a statement by the Orange County district attorney's office. Tarbutton flew to Panama this month and was arrested by Panamanian authorities this week. He was returned to California on Tuesday.
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NEWS
By Jeremiah Dobruck | December 11, 2013
A local businessman who was paid tens of thousands of dollars by Costa Mesa to act as a consultant during the city's 60th anniversary celebration is suspected of participating in a Ponzi scheme that cheated a Newport Beach man out of millions, according to a lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Roland Barrera of Costa Mesa allegedly worked as a salesman in an investment scam run out of Austin, Texas, that collected almost $18 million from at least 80 clients who were promised generous returns from oil and gas securities.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna, joseph.serna@latimes.com | November 3, 2010
NEWPORT BEACH — A Tustin businessman was sentenced to five years and four months in prison Wednesday for operating a Ponzi scheme that drained a dozen Orange County residents — some of them from Costa Mesa — out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings. Paul Abad, 46, pleaded guilty to 25 felonies as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach. As owner of Thirteen Thirty-Two Inc., Abad swindled people out of more than $760,000 by convincing them that they were investing in futures and commodities.
NEWS
From staff reports | August 31, 2010
A 68-year-old Orange man has been sentenced to 18 years in state prison for bilking $2.6 million from investors in a Ponzi and real estate fraud scheme, which targeted some elderly Newport Beach-area residents. Joseph Anthony Veltre pleaded guilty to 112 felony counts, including 60 counts of grand theft, 17 counts of elder financial exploitation by a non-caregiver, 17 counts of residential burglary, 13 counts of forgery, three counts of recording false documents, one count of commercial burglary, one count of identity theft, and white-collar-crime sentencing enhancements for loss of more than $500,000, the Orange County district attorney's office said Tuesday in a news release.
LOCAL
By Joseph Serna | October 29, 2009
A business owner accused of ripping off more than $1 million from Orange County residents, including at least one in Costa Mesa, was arrested Tuesday on his way to work. Paul Abad, 45, of Tustin, is charged with 23 felonies including the theft of more than $500,000, embezzlement and lying to the government. Abad owned Thirteen Thirty-Two Inc., a business that supposedly invested customers’ money in futures and commodities. “Everything was bogus,” said Orange County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Jim Amormino.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna | September 3, 2009
If a federal case out of Florida is any indication, Newport Beach continues to be the destination for the young and wealthy. Among the trips and expensive toys federal authorities claim Beau Diamond of Sarasota, Fla., bought through a $37-million Ponzi scheme was a luxury condominium in Newport Beach that goes for $16,000 a month. Diamond, 31, was arrested and booked in Florida on Wednesday on suspicion of committing wire fraud, money laundering and bilking more than 200 people around the country out of more than $37 million.
FEATURES
By Peter Buffa | May 9, 2009
I’m proud of you. We’ve behaved very well lately, with a few exceptions, which brings us back to the people-behaving-badly-in-Newport-Mesa folder. Last week, it’s was the pooch-napping at Russo’s pet store in Fashion Island. This week, it’s Saks Fifth Avenue at South Coast Plaza, where three young men were arrested Thursday night for admiring some upscale merchandise, which is exactly what one would expect at Saks, but then reportedly trying to leave without exactly, well, paying for it, which is rude.
NEWS
May 6, 2009
A 67-year-old man accused of deceiving people out of millions through real estate fraud and a Ponzi scheme, including residents in Newport Beach and Costa Mesa, sat in jail Wednesday in lieu of $2.5 million bail. Joseph Anthony Veltre Jr. of Orange is scheduled to be arraigned May 22 on 62 felony counts with several enhancements claiming he lied, cheated and stole his way into $2.5 million between 2002 and 2007. Veltre is accused of using his two Orange County businesses — Sea View Financial and Allied Corporate Investments — to pose as a “hard money” lender.
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