SEC halts alleged OC Ponzi scheme

Feds say that investors were promised short-term returns of up to 130 percent annually so that the earlier investors could be paid. The alleged mastermind, Matthew Jennings of Yorba Linda, is also accused of diverting some of the funds into his personal accounts. The $53 million scheme operated under the name "Westmoore." From the press release:

According to the SEC's complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Jennings operated a corporate shell game through Westmoore, directing the movement of funds among Westmoore's various accounts to prevent the collapse of the scheme. Jennings treated these accounts as one integrated account from which funds, regardless of their source, could be used as necessary to pay investors promised returns. The SEC alleges that Westmoore did not tell investors that it had to rely on proceeds from new investors to pay existing investors. Instead, investors expected that their funds would be used for investments that might ultimately generate returns if the underlying business succeeded.

More by Mark Lacter:
American-US Air settlement with DOJ includes small tweak at LAX
Socal housing market going nowhere fast
Amazon keeps pushing for faster L.A. delivery
Another rugged quarter for Tribune Co. papers
How does Stanford compete with the big boys?
Those awful infographics that promise to explain and only distort
Best to low-ball today's employment report
Further fallout from airport shootings
Crazy opening for Twitter*
Should Twitter be valued at $18 billion?
Recent stories:
Letter from Down Under: Welcome to the Homogenocene
One last Florida photo
Signs of Saturday: No refund
'I Am Woman,' hear them roar
Bobcat crossing
Previous story: Getting around pot ordinance

Next story: L.A.: 1908, 2002

New at LA Observed
On the Media Page
Go to Media

On the Politics Page
Go to Politics
Arts and culture

Sign up for daily email from LA Observed

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
LA Observed on Twitter and Facebook