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Thread: Maurice McLeod

  1. #1
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    Maurice McLeod

    Investors file federal fraud lawsuit

    HUNDREDS AFFECTED: Two Rialto residents say they sustained losses of more than $600,000.

    10:00 PM PST on Monday, February 12, 2007

    By LESLIE BERKMAN
    The Press-Enterprise

    A racketeering conspiracy said to have defrauded more than 700 investors in multiple states, including California, was described last week in a federal lawsuit filed by two Rialto residents who claim to have suffered losses of more than $600,000.

    Defendants named by the suit filed in the federal district court in Riverside include James Duncan, Maurice McLeod and Hendrix Montecastro. The same men also have been sued in Riverside County Superior Court for alleged participation in a related mortgage-fraud scheme affecting hundreds of Filipino investors in southwest Riverside County.

    Another defendant in the federal suit is Charlie Choi, who allegedly wrote a marketing pitch for investors that suggests places to look for investment funds that include "money saved for taxes" and a "retirement account."

    The federal suit filed Thursday said the defendants are not licensed financial planners or registered securities brokers in any state, but still put together investment groups in Arizona, Texas, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Arkansas and California.

    Richard Ackerman, who represents the plaintiffs in both Riverside lawsuits, said among the local victims are many Riverside County nurses and Navy corpsmen from Camp Pendleton. He said investors also were solicited at Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Ariz. Ackerman said as of Monday he had identified 867 victims.

    The suit claims that from November 2004 until very recently, the defendants told prospective clients that by investing in real estate, stock and Iraqi currency over periods ranging from three months to three years, they could realize gains of up to 300 percent.

    Ackerman said the mortgage-fraud allegations focused on one facet of the operation -- raising investment cash by borrowing against residential properties that allegedly were appraised at a much higher value than their worth.

    The investments were made through companies known as Stonewood Consulting, Arbor Terrace Real Estate, Jovane Investments, Ridgeline Equity, Danask Rose LLC, Sunburst Financial Systems, Oetting Enterprises, Capital Resource Group, Pacific Wealth Management "and a host of other shell companies operating across state lines and through interstate telephone/electronic wires," the suit says.

    Pacific Wealth Management, the Nevada company named as a defendant in both suits, is not affiliated with the San Diego investment company of the same name, according to the suits.

    The plaintiffs in the latest suit, Anna Richter and Deborah Weber, said they were persuaded by the defendants to extract all the equity from their homes, which was subsequently wired to accounts that the defendants controlled. They never received the promised returns, the suit said.

    Duncan, McLeod, Montecastro and Choi, all described as residents of Murrieta, could not be reached Monday for comment. Paul Runes, an attorney with Nett & Nett of Temecula and a defense attorney in the mortgage-fraud case, said as of Monday afternoon he had not been served with the federal complaint and he knew nothing about it.

    Richter said in an interview Monday that she became an investor with Pacific Wealth in April on the advice of a friend from church. Richter, 39, who until recently was a senior chemist at California Steel Industries in Fontana, said she and her husband, Mark, 44, a senior inspector for California Steel, hoped their investment profits would enable Mark to go into the ministry.

    Richter said she borrowed $187,000 on their house in Rialto that Pacific Wealth used to help her and her husband buy three more homes. In addition, she said, Pacific Wealth opened credit cards in her name on which she borrowed $76,000 in cash. She said she invested that and another $15,000 from her 401(k) for a six-month investment that Pacific Wealth was touting in foreign currency.

    The Richters' finances started to crumble when in December Pacific Wealth stopped making monthly payments totaling $20,000 on the three investment properties, she said. She said then on Jan. 26, the day she read about the company being targeted in a lawsuit involving mortgage fraud, she received a Federal Express delivery of Iraqi dinars worth about $9,000. But she said she can't get even that much because today there is no exchange market for dinars.

    The Richters lost the funds they invested, she said, and also cannot afford the $4,400-a-month mortgage payment on the home where they and their four children live. In addition, she said, they must make $1,200-a-month payments on the credit-card borrowings. She said the family is trying to get their mortgage refinanced at a lower rate and, failing that, they may move to Texas.

  2. #2
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    Re: Maurice McLeod

    High-ball offers raised flags in 2004; Unusual investment patterns cited in lawsuit reported to authorities

    By: CHRIS BAGLEY --- Staff Writer

    MURRIETA ---- An unusual pattern of investments raised concern long before it became the target of a lawsuit last week and the subject of an investigation by the Riverside County district attorney's office, neighbors and real-estate agents said Monday.

    The series of investments appeared to begin as early as 2004, when a mortgage brokerage began faxing out above-market offers on dozens of homes, agents said. The offers were typically for $80,000 to $100,000 above asking prices, targeted homes that had remained unsold for several months, and came primarily from Stonewood Consulting Inc., a mortgage brokerage that operated out of a house north of Clinton Keith Road in Murrieta, the agents said.

    Stonewood and its president, Hendrix Montecastro, are not named as defendants in the suit, but they, family members and others appear to have worked closely with Jovane Investments LLC, Temecula attorney Richard Ackerman said. Ackerman filed the suit Friday in Riverside County Superior Court against Jovane on behalf of a Temecula woman who invested in the arrangement.


    Montecastro and Stonewood attorney Bill Sauls didn't return calls or e-mail messages seeking comment Friday and Monday. James Duncan, of Orange-based Jovane, declined to comment when reached by cell phone Monday.

    Ackerman said Sauls had denied a connection between Jovane and Stonewood.

    Earl Bonawitz, general manager of Century 21 Wright in Temecula, said he personally received six such offers and had talked to numerous other agents who also had.

    Stonewood would fax out several shockingly high offers in the same neighborhood on the same day, said Gene Wunderlich, a director of the Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors. The association reported the pattern of offers to the Riverside County District Attorney about two years ago, Bonawitz and Wunderlich said.

    Unusually high offers are legal and not necessarily risky for the seller, but managers at several real-estate offices advised their agents to err on the side of caution, Bonawitz said.

    Kevin and Janet Quigley said at least four such deals happened in their Copper Canyon neighborhood, where two- and three-car garages open up to boulder-flecked hillsides to the west and sweeping views of Murrieta to the east.

    One neighbor was happy to receive her asking price of about $600,000 but peeved when she learned that the sale was officially recorded at about $700,000, Janet Quigley said.

    "It's overinflating the market," Quigley said.

    Wunderlich and Bonawitz acknowledged that such deals could inflate real-estate values in neighborhoods where they're concentrated. Ackerman said he worries that the deals may have set up property values for a fall.

    Both agents and Ackerman said they believe the deals may have relied on some sort of cooperation from appraisers who were involved. Quigley said several suspect deals appeared to have been handled by the same real-estate agent.

    The deals were allegedly set up with an initial promise that Jovane and related companies would cover the monthly mortgage payments. The payments suddenly ceased in October and November, leaving the clients with defaulted loans, the lawsuit alleges.

    Ackerman, another attorney and a San Diego financial adviser said their clients had defaulted on a total of perhaps two dozen loans. Ackerman said Montecastro told investors that they were among 412 people who were participating. Ackerman's client bought five houses as part of the deal, the suit alleges. Other investors bought between two and eight houses, according to the lawsuit and another attorney whose clients allegedly took part.

    Given the number of offers that Stonewood allegedly faxed out, 412 investors very well could have taken part, Bonawitz said.

    In addition to the four sellers who took advantage of the unusually high offers, Quigley pointed up and down her street to another half-dozen houses that sold at around the same time and are now either being rented or are up for rent. In the front yard of one, the grass had grown long and brown, and several weeks worth of advertising fliers were strewn across the porch. In between two of them, Quigley said, the owner had gotten fed up and decided to move away. His house is now for sale.

    In front windows of two houses on neighboring streets, lime-green signs read "Newly built single family house for rent or lease with option to buy. Low rent. Low deposit."

    "It's ruining our neighborhood," Quigley said. "There are a bunch of people on our street that aren't happy."

    Ackerman said he filed the suit in part to keep lenders from foreclosing on his client, who now is on the hook for about $20,000 in monthly mortgage payments, far beyond her salary as a hospital nurse. He filed the lawsuit with his client listed as anonymous, because he said she has received threats over the telephone.

    The plaintiff's name is known to the judge in the case and to investigators for the Riverside County District Attorney, who began to investigate the matter late last year, Kelly Hansen, a senior supervisor in the office, said Friday.

    Four lenders are named as defendants in the suit, which seeks to delay foreclosure and collection attempts. It also demands monetary damages from Jovane and Duncan.

    Contact staff writer Chris Bagley at (951) 676-4315, Ext. 2615, or cbagley@californian.com.

  3. #3
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    Re: Maurice McLeod

    Investment scheme hurts local military families and church-goers
    Arizona Daily Star
    Tucson, Arizona | Published: 03.11.2007
    advertisementBy Carol Ann Alaimo
    A noncommissioned officer at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base is at the center of claims that more than 100 Tucsonans, many of them church members or military personnel, were financially ruined after investing in shaky real estate deals or near-worthless Iraqi currency.
    Those involved say they're now heavily in debt some for as much as $400,000 for investment money they borrowed against their homes or credit cards to buy Iraqi dinars or California properties that now face foreclosure.
    Often, religion was used to push the investment deals, they said, and some investors, including a Tucson pastor, said they bought in to raise money for church projects to aid the poor. The promised rates of return ranged from about 20 percent to 300 percent, they said.
    "They said they could help us, that it was based on faith and trust. They knew the vocabulary to use with Christian people," said Maria Hynum, an East Side grandmother who said she lost $393,000. Two of her relatives also lost tens of thousands of dollars each, she said.
    Hynum is a member of Christian Faith Center, 4108 E. North St. She said she's one of nine church members, including the pastor, who invested in a company formerly known as Pacific Wealth Management of Murrieta, Calif., a firm that made its Tucson pitches at some of the city's poshest hotels.
    The company, registered in Nevada, is not licensed to sell investments in Arizona and is not connected to a San Diego-based investment firm by the same name.
    No criminal charges have been filed against anyone involved. Several agencies are investigating, including the FBI, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations and the Riverside County Attorney's Office in California. At least four lawsuits have been filed by three California law firms.
    One attorney says as many as 400 people from across Arizona were victimized, along with hundreds more in California, Arkansas, Puerto Rico, Texas, Oregon and Washington.
    Collectively, their losses total hundreds of millions of dollars, and many face bankruptcy, ruined credit ratings and the loss of their homes, said the lawyer, Richard Ackerman of Temecula, Calif., who represents numerous California investors and recently met with dozens of Tucson investors.
    Ackerman says Pacific Wealth in Murrieta had no assets of its own and was essentially a "ponzi scheme" that could be kept afloat only as long as more new investors were persuaded to come aboard.
    He said investors were fraudulently induced to extract equity from their homes and borrow against lines of credit to buy Iraqi currency or real estate in California, both offered at vastly inflated prices.
    For example, he said investors who bought currency were charged about $25,000 each for a million Iraqi dinars, which are worth only about $500.
    Tucsonans who took part over the past 18 months say Pacific Wealth agents told clients that if they remortgaged their homes to raise investment cash, the company would cover the differences between their old mortgage payments and their new ones, and also would cover any extra monthly costs for the California properties once renters were found to occupy those premises.
    In some cases, Pacific Wealth followed through for a few months, clients said. But when the firm suddenly stopped paying in late 2006, local clients said they were left on the hook for enormous debts. Some of their mortgage payments now top $4,000 a month and the California properties are now in default or foreclosure, they said.
    In Tucson, those involved say, nearly all the investors were brought into the Pacific Wealth fold by D-M Tech. Sgt. Ken Fraleigh, a facility manager with the 355th Logistics Readiness Squadron. He has been in the Air Force for nearly 20 years, the past eight at D-M.
    Fraleigh, who did not respond to a request for comment left with his wife, was identified in a recently filed lawsuit in California as the main Tucson "referral partner" for Pacific Wealth.
    The suit alleges that Fraleigh helped bring in at least 125 Tucson investors, including a dozen D-M airmen and the members of Christian Faith Center, his own church. He also brought in about two dozen more from across Arizona and in six other states, the suit says.
    Other California suits allege that frauds were committed on D-M base property, on other U.S. military installations and at a California church.
    Church members in Tucson said they don't believe Fraleigh intentionally duped them and said he lost money, too. They think he was taken in by the prosperous image Pacific Wealth portrayed and by the fact Fraleigh's son-in-law, identified in court claims as Maurice McLeod of Murrieta, was president of the company.
    Fraleigh greeted potential investors at the door at lavish Tucson investment dinners held at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort and other swank locales, investors said.
    Under Defense Department rules, service members engaged in after-hours business ventures must obtain their commander's OK. D-M officials said Friday it was not immediately clear if Fraleigh had such approval.
    Meanwhile, the situation could jeopardize the security clearances and deployability of the other D-M airmen involved.
    Military personnel who incur heavy debt can be deemed security risks, lose their deployable status and be reduced in rank, something that already has happened to several Navy members in California who made the same investments, said their lawyer, Ackerman.
    D-M officials said they have identified 11 airmen and three civilian workers on base who dealt with Pacific Wealth, and are offering legal or financial help to anyone affected. The base is cooperating with investigations, said 2nd Lt. Mary Pekas, a D-M spokeswoman.
    Several Tucson investors said the Pima County Sheriff's Department and the Arizona Corporation Commission, which regulates investment sales in the state, also are investigating.
    Fraleigh is not listed as a defendant in the California lawsuits, but his son-in-law is.
    McLeod now is banned by court order from using the business name Pacific Wealth. The long-established investment firm in San Diego with the same name, worried about damage to its reputation, recently sued to stop him.
    McLeod did not respond to requests for comment. The Arizona Daily Star was unable to reach anyone being accused of investment fraud to comment for this story, despite numerous phone messages left at the work phones or cell phones of company principals or their lawyers.
    Several other California firms are identified in the lawsuits as linked to the McLeod-run Pacific Wealth, along with several California residents. So far, no Tucsonans are known to have filed lawsuits, but several said they plan to sign on to the California actions.
    Randy Winkles, a pastor at Christian Faith Center, said he was one of the 40 or so people at the recent meeting with Ackerman in Tucson. Winkles said he lost about $400,000 through remortgaging his home and that his house payment has jumped from $1,300 to $2,500 a month.
    Winkles, who sometimes said the opening prayers at the Tucson investment meetings, said he believed godly people were behind the firm, and one of the California principals would talk at length during the meetings about faith and religion, saying that he'd been a pastor's son.
    Winkles said he invested to try to raise money for church outreach projects such as a gymnasium for youth, and transitional housing for teenage parents, the homeless and recovering addicts.
    "I don't think anyone went into this for self-enrichment. It was done to carry on our vision," said Winkles, who said he heard of the investments from Fraleigh, the D-M technical sergeant, who attends his church.
    Noemi Barrios, a Tucson nurse, said she lost about $80,000 and her mortgage payments jumped from $734 to $1,800 a month.
    "Some of us feel kind of foolish now for believing, but these are not ignorant people who got involved with this. There's a retired professor, a civic planner, military people, and a lawyer and a doctor," she said.
    But with the company's Christian pronouncements, no one thought to check up on the firm's legitimacy, Barrios said. The Arizona Corporation Commission, for example, has a toll-fee number (1-866-VERIFY9) that citizens can call to see if an investment dealer is registered.
    Heather Murphy, a spokeswoman for the state agency, said authorities there want to hear from those who feel they were victimized, and they should call the toll-free number.
    Meanwhile, as authorities investigate and lawsuits are tested in court, investors such as Hynum say they still believe God will somehow make things right.
    "God is going to give us victory in this," she said. "I have to believe that."
    Find the online version of this story to download the California lawsuits at www.azstarnet.com/dailystar
    Contact reporter Carol Ann Alaimo at 573-4138 or at calaimo@azstarnet.com.

  4. #4
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    Re: Maurice McLeod

    if you are a victim of this we have set up a website
    http://www.coreclient.110mb.com

  5. #5
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    Re: Maurice McLeod

    The crime continues to roll on FBI, DRE, SEC, and DA are slow to move on the company...The pressure was on Stonewood and Pacific Wealth now they have morphed into Coast Wealth Management located in Hemet California...

  6. #6
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    Re: Maurice McLeod

    Alleged ties to Pacific Wealth

    STEVE KAYDEN Manager TOTAL RETURN FUND, LLC
    STEVE KAYDEN Director CATHEDRAL CAPITAL PARTNERS
    STEVE KAYDEN President CATHEDRAL CAPITAL PARTNERS
    STEVE KAYDEN Secretary CATHEDRAL CAPITAL PARTNERS
    STEVE KAYDEN Treasurer CATHEDRAL CAPITAL PARTNERS
    STEVE KAYDEN Director PALM VALLEY ADVISORS
    STEVE KAYDEN President PALM VALLEY ADVISORS
    STEVE KAYDEN Secretary PALM VALLEY ADVISORS
    STEVE KAYDEN Treasurer PALM VALLEY ADVISORS MAURICE MCLEOD Managing Member PACIFIC WEALTH MANAGEMENT, LLC
    MAURICE MCLEOD President THE TWOFOLD INCORPORATED
    MAURICE MCLEOD President MAXIX CORPORATION
    MAURICE MCLEOD Treasurer MAXIX CORPORATION
    JAMES DUNCAN General Partner JACOB RITZE LIMITED PARTNERSHIP
    JAMES DUNCAN General Partner JAMIE PROPERTIES LIMITED PARTNERSHIP
    JAMES DUNCAN General Partner JAMIE SECURITIES LIMITED PARTNERSHIP
    JAMES DUNCAN President MATERIALS EVOLUTION AND DEVELOPMENT USA, INC.
    JAMES DUNCAN President DUNCAN CIVIL RECOVERY SERVICES, INC.
    JAMES DUNCAN Director JAMES DUNCAN AND ASSOCIATES, INC.
    JAMES DUNCAN President JAMES DUNCAN AND ASSOCIATES, INC.
    JAMES DUNCAN Secretary JAMES DUNCAN AND ASSOCIATES, INC.
    JAMES DUNCAN Treasurer JAMES DUNCAN AND ASSOCIATES, INC.
    CHARLES CHOI Director INLAND COAST CAPITAL CORPORATION
    CHARLES CHOI President INLAND COAST CAPITAL CORPORATION
    CHARLES M CHOI Manager HUI LAU SHAN (LAS VEGAS), LLC.

    Corporation
    ARBOR TERRACE REAL ESTATE, INC.
    Number: C2597178 Date Filed: 9/22/2005 Status: active
    Jurisdiction: California
    Address
    37081 CHERRYWOOD DR
    MURRIETA, CA 92562
    Agent for Service of Process
    WILLIAM H SAULS
    427 C ST STE 416
    SAN DIEGO, CA 92101

    License # Agency Name License Type Institution Name License Status Address Phone
    01456322 DRE Montecastro, Bayani Delos Salesperson Licensed MURRIETA, CA N/A
    01159306 DRE Montecastro, Hendrix Moreno Broker
    AllCare Nursing Inc
    Stonewood Consulting Inc
    Ocean Ridge Equity Inc
    Arbor Terrace Real Estate Inc Licensed
    License Type:
    SALESPERSON


    Name:
    Montecastro, Bayani Delos


    Mailing Address:
    26273 HORSETAIL ST
    MURRIETA, CA 92562
    License ID:
    01456322
    Expiration Date:
    10/27/08
    License Status:
    LICENSED
    Original License Date:
    10/28/04 (Unofficial -- taken from secondary records)
    Former Name(s):
    NO FORMER NAMES
    Employing Broker:
    License ID: 01781537
    Arbor Terrace Real Estate Inc
    41120 ELM ST STE H218
    MURRIETA, CA 92562
    Comment:
    NO DISCIPLINARY ACTION
    04/29/06 - CONDITIONAL LICENSE SUSPENSION. EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS NOT FILED.
    05/03/06 - CONDITIONAL SUSPENSION REMOVED. EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS MET.

    License Type:
    SALESPERSON


    Name:
    Oetting, Christopher Jeffrey
    Mailing Address:
    74-140 EL PASEO #341
    PALM DESERT, CA 92260
    License ID:
    01321390
    Expiration Date:
    10/17/09
    License Status:
    LICENSED
    Original License Date:
    10/18/01 (Unofficial -- taken from secondary records)
    former Name(s):
    NO FORMER NAMES
    Employing Broker:
    License ID: 01374994
    Bankers Realty Inc
    22719 HAWTHORNE BLVD STE 200
    TORRANCE, CA 90505
    Comment:
    NO DISCIPLINARY ACTION
    NO OTHER PUBLIC COMMENTS
    >>>> Public information request complete <<<<

  7. #7
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    Re: Maurice McLeod

    If you have a photo of this guy would be highly interested in the picture. Contact our website at http://www.coreclient.110mb.com and click on contact us at the bottom of the page.
    or a picture of
    James Duncan
    Steve Kayden
    Hendrix Montecastro
    Helen Montecastro
    Bob Montecastro
    Chris Oetting
    Charlie Choi
    Dennis Dewitt
    John Rienk

  8. #8
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    Re: Maurice McLeod

    If you have a photo of this guy would be highly interested in the picture. Contact our website at http://www.coreclient.110mb.com and click on contact us at the bottom of the page.
    or a picture of
    James Duncan
    Steve Kayden
    Hendrix Montecastro
    Helen Montecastro
    Bob Montecastro
    Chris Oetting
    Charlie Choi
    Dennis Dewitt
    John Rienk

  9. #9
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    Re: Maurice McLeod

    Alledged Companies:
    Stonewood Consulting
    Arbor Terrace Real Estate
    Pacific Wealth Management, a Nevada LLC
    Coast Wealth Management
    Inland Coast Capital Corporation
    Total Return Fund
    Palm Valley Advisors
    Cathedral Capital Partners
    Sunburst Financial
    Oetting Enterprises
    New World Mortgage
    Ocean Ridge Equity
    AllCare Nursing
    The Henson Group
    James Duncan and Associates, Inc.
    Ken Black Industries
    Duncan Civil Recovery

  10. #10
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    Re: Maurice McLeod

    Want to see what Maurice Looks like I found him on the web and his alleged Ponzi Posi
    all looks like!
    http://digg.com/business_finance/Wa...mmer_looks_like

  11. #11
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