Reports of Shopping Malls' Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated, Says Irvine Analyst

Categories: Cha-Ching!

walmart small.jpg
Photo by Brandon Ferguson/OC Weekly
"Who had the last Chia Pet Zombie?"
"There are those that argue consumers have moved on from shopping at the mall in favor of online purchasing--the naysayers who claim it is just more convenient to place an order on or that the outdated post-Thanksgiving Black Friday has given way to the more popular Cyber Monday. But visit most malls on any weekend or during the holiday season and you'll see firsthand that its demise has been greatly exaggerated--the classic mall is just in a transition period."

-Scott Hook, executive vice president at Coldwell Banker Commercial Alliance in Irvine, in's "The Reincarnation of Traditional Malls"

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This Holiday Season, Don't Forget to Set a Little Aside for Orange County's Millionaire CEOs

Photo by flickr user Transguyjay
Underpaid Orange County CEOs must pull themselves up by their suspenders.
The quest for a year-round homeless shelter in Orange County has been delayed yet again. Nonprofits that feed the needy are scrambling to come up with enough food for holiday meals. In these globalized, post-recession, stagnated wage days, the lines of sorry souls in need of assistance just keeps growing.

But as we head into Thanksgiving and Christmas, forget about those people. For those who are really hurting are Orange County's CEOs, who are desperately trying to make ends meet on an average annual salary of $1.8 million.

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"Mr. C" Tom Bosley was Unwittingly Tied to $13 Million Scam Led by Fugitive-Turned-Convictee

Paramount Home Entertainment
Howard Cunningham (Tom Bosley) and The Fonz (Henry Winkler) wind up battling in court in the Happy Days episode "Two Angry Men."

The hammer finally came down this week on a scamster who fled the country 15 years ago when the FBI started investigating his Newport Beach company, which used telemarketers to reach investors into a supposed family-oriented entertainment website whose spokesman was "Mr. C.," the late actor Tom Bosley.

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Santa Ana Federal Judge Seeks August 2015 Trial on $5 Bil Suit Against Standard & Poor's

Photo by flickr user Brook Ward
Watch for falling assets.

Hey, remember that worldwide economic collapse of 2008? My, how time flies when you're watching your 401k vaporize. Well, the litigating over those blamed for helping cause the free-fall is not over, as evidenced by a case in U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter's courtroom, where the U.S. Justice Department is suing the Standard & Poor's credit rating system for $5 billion.

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Donald Keith Goff Cops to Scams That Cost SBA and Financiers of Gas Station Loans Millions

Photo by flickr user Thomas Hawk
Welcome to you know where.

A Laguna Niguel businessman who took a bank, the Small Business Administration and the financier of a Fountain Valley gas station for millions and millions of dollars recently copped to multiple fraud counts in federal court and now faces up to 70 years in prison.

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Daniel Gilbert Becerril II Gets 15 Years for Defrauding 2 Clients and Slaying One of Them

AP Financial
Daniel Gilbert Becerril II defrauded two of his AP Financial clients and slayed one of them.

An Orange County financial consultant--who had been held for the murder of an artist/Russian immigrant/Los Angeles school teacher as part of a complex theft and money laundering scheme--pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter and other counts last week and was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in state prison.

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David Rose Cops to Stinging Doctors for $2.3 Million in Phony Medical Tech Investments

Courtesy of the FBI
This Sea Ray boat worth $80,000 was among David Rose's luxuries seized by the feds.

An investment professional who stung physicians, dentists and orthodontists for more than $2 million--and spent the money he received on a Cota de Caza home, college tuition, luxury cars, shares in the Green Bay Packers and the $80,000 boat shown above, cut a plea deal with federal prosecutors this week.

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Igor Olenicoff Ordered to Pay Artist $450k for Chinese Knock-offs of His Original Sculptures

Categories: Cha-Ching!, Court

Untitled by Don Wakefield and
Joseph "Chick" Glickman
Is it the original or a Chinese rip-off? (Answer: original.)
The fifth richest man in Orange County (yes, the top five are all men) and 184th richest person in the country (per Forbes in 2013) has been ordered to pay a sculptor $450,000 because instead of paying the full price for an original piece of artwork, the billionaire had a Chinese artist make a copy.

Igor Olenicoff, who previously found himself in the headlines for shielding $200 million of his fortune from the IRS, had placed the ripped-off version of Monrovia artist Don Wakefield's piece, in front of the Laguna Beach developer's Olen Properties office in Newport Beach. Wakefield happened to be outside the Olen offices at Seven Corporate Plaza in 2011 when he stumbled upon what he thought was the granite, 6x4-foot sculpture Untitled that he and artist friend Joseph "Chick" Glickman designed and created together in 1992. Having solicited California developers as potential buyers of his work, Wakefield assumed it was an original that the Newport Beach company had purchased from a dealer.

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Hidden Cash-Grab Fever Comes to Orange County

Categories: Cha-Ching!

Taylor Hamby/OC Weekly
Dig in

The worldwide phenomenon known as Hidden Cash brought a frenzied hunt for free money in the ground unseen in California since the 1850's (or, you know, since last night's money drop in Whitter) to Orange County Friday. Hundreds of modern-day prospectors flocked to the sands of Huntington Beach in search of 30 magical Pez candy dispensers filled with $50 bills, and two Pez box sets with $100. Hidden Cash tweeted out clues to the location of the said dispensers starting at 9 a.m.

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Real Costs of College and University Are Costing California Students Now and Later: Reports

Universal Pictures
"Christ. Seven years of college down the drain."

It not only takes longer for California students to attain community college degrees in the traditional two years and state university degrees in the normal four years, the system has created "a raft of expensive consequences for students and the state," according to two recent reports.

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