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Ponzi Scheme

NEWS
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.
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BUSINESS
By Brianna Bailey | December 10, 2009
The site of Mariner’s Mile seafood restaurant, once owned by the late financier Danny Pang, was auctioned off Wednesday for $7.3 million. The property, 2607 W. Coast Hwy., is home to Joe’s Crab Shack. The 100-square-foot restaurant sits on a roughly 27,000-square-foot waterfront lot that includes 400 linear feet of boat slips. The Securities and Exchanged Commission seized the parcel and Pang’s other assets, claiming they were part of an elaborate Ponzi scheme.
NEWS
January 19, 2005
Four to plead guilty to investment scheme Four more people, including a Costa Mesa and a Newport Beach resident, were charged Friday and agreed to plead guilty in connection with an investment scheme that scammed some 600 people of more than $45 million. Including the latest charges, seven employees of Newport Beach-based DFJ Italia have been connected by the U.S. Department of Justice to a so-called Ponzi scheme, Assistant U.S. Atty. Michael C. Zweiback said.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna | April 28, 2009
A Newport Beach-based real estate investment firm’s leaders have been ordered to pay tens of millions of dollars by a Seattle judge and are being investigated by federal authorities, court records and the company acknowledged Tuesday. MKA Capital Group Advisors LLC, 26 Corporate Plaza Drive, Newport Beach, had its offices searched by the FBI earlier this month, and two of its leaders were successfully sued by a lending firm in Seattle for more than $31 million. Attorneys for all parties involved declined to comment, but MKA lawyers issued a prepared statement: “MKA Capital Group Advisors LLC has recently received inquiries from the media regarding civil lawsuits by a few investors and requests for information from federal regulators and investigators, concerning the company’s financial affairs and business operations.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna, joseph.serna@latimes.com | September 8, 2011
CORONA DEL MAR - With a distinct Texas drawl and plain-spoken message, GOP front-runner and Texas Gov. Rick Perry revved up his growing tea party base in Orange County on Thursday, joking the area is fancy like a raspberry or blueberry pie. Drenched in sunlight at Roger's Gardens, hundreds of conservatives - many self-identifying as tea partiers - hooted and hollered as Perry railed against President Obama and big government. "Mr. President, we can't spend our way to prosperity.
LOCAL
May 13, 2010
A Tustin man was sentenced to more than 10 years in federal prison Wednesday for scamming more than 140 people, including a Newport Beach man, out of more than $20 million through a fraudulent investment business. James Halstead, 63, was sentenced to 121 months in prison and ordered to pay $14.5 million in restitution to his victims. Promising 25% to 35% quarterly returns, Halstead and Orange County attorney Jeanne Rowzee, 50, told victims they were investing in private entities and money market programs.
NEWS
By Brianna Bailey | October 13, 2009
Disgraced hedge fund manager Bernard Madoff told investigators he knew Newport Beach resident and former Congressman Christopher Cox would be the next chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission a few weeks prior to his appointment, according to a new report from the agency. The report, a result of an internal SEC probe into how the agency missed numerous chances to catch Madoff’s $65-billion Ponzi scheme, details his propensity for dropping names of high-ranking SEC officials to investigators.
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