Early look at Wild Animal Park, troubled elephants come to the zoo, China’s panda hunter and pandas end up in San Diego, the morality of SeaWorld’s dolphins
Various Authors 3:49 p.m., Dec. 3
Matthew (Beau) La Madrid, Lance La Madrid, and Eric Montiel have been charged by the U.S. attorney's office for mail, wire, and bank fraud in their alleged role in a $30 million scam. Matthew La Madrid was also charged with money laundering and witness tampering. They operated the investment scheme out of an El Cajon office that also dealt with real estate, according to the government. Investors were told that the stock trading scheme, supposedly dealing with covered calls, had far more money in the pot than actually reposed there. Matthew La Madrid transferred $7.6 million from his accounts to another entity he controlled without telling investors, who were largely from East County. The operation fraudulently obtained more than $34 million from lenders through false loan applications, says the government. Potential borrowers' incomes and assets were substantially overstated, while the operators fabricated bank statements and forged documents, according to the government. The story of this scheme appeared in my column of June 3, 2009.