No Felony Charges In 2009 Orange County Ponzi Scheme That Bilked $800 Million From Investors

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Nathan Santisteven
It's been more than two years since the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued Medical Capital Holdings (MCH), the Tustin lender that was embroiled in a bizarre hospital-related Ponzi scheme that was extensively probed by the Weekly in 2009. MCH was created to purchase unpaid medical bills at a discount, and then return profits once the bills were collected. But according to the SEC's June 6, 2009 lawsuit against MCH, the company and its two directors, Joey Lampariello and Sidney Field,  defrauded some 20,000 investors by diverting their cash into distinctly non-medical places.

Specifically, as the Weekly has already reported, MCH lent millions to Integrated HealthCare Holdings (IHHI), which owns several OC hospitals and which, among other bizarre activities, sued one of its own doctors, an outspoken whistleblower who was apparently also set up in a bogus road-rage incident that involved a planted gun and presumably bogus 911 calls. Meanwhile, MCH also spent millions purchasing a pleasure yacht for use by Lampariello and Field as well as a 50 percent interest in a pornographic advertising company complete with a list of phony officers and directors.

But wait, it gets worse, according to the latest court-appointed receiver's update, which was first reported by the Orange County Register yesterday. "While investors in Medical Capital Holdings lost nearly $800 million, its principals were doing very well," the Register article states. "MedCap CEO Sidney M. Field drew $19.8 million . . . while President Joseph J. 'Joey' Lampariello got $5.39 million."

So far, the article says, the receiver has only been able to come up with $100 million for the investors, but pending lawsuits related to the SEC action will hopefully generate more cash. So given the huge amount of money stolen from investors, you'd think Lampariello and Field would already be rotting behind bars like Bernie Madoff, right?

Nope. No criminal charges have been filed against Field, and while his pal Lampariello isn't as lucky, he's only being charged with five misdemeanor counts of tax evasion, meaning that he may never even see the inside of a jail cell.   



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3 comments
SpiderWeb
SpiderWeb

Well, the IRS has charged Mr. Lampariello with tax evasion.  Like Al Capone, if you can't make other charges stick...

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

Like the saying goes "Money talks, bullshit walks". The courts really need to be much more vigilant in the prosecution and punishment of these "white-collar" criminals, whose crimes have a far more negative impact on society at large than the common thief ever could.

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