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The Securities and Exchange Commission today (Sept. 21) filed in federal court to get a civil contempt order against Alfred Louis (Bobby) Vassallo, one of San Diego's egregious characters operating in the last two decades. In the 1990s and early 2000s, Vassallo fleeced a bunch of San Diegans in a Mexican telecom operation known as Presto Telecommunications. Meanwhile, he lived in a posh La Jolla home and sent his children to exclusive private schools in Europe. In 2005, Vassallo was enjoined permanently from committing securities fraud. This morning, the SEC said that Vassallo "blatantly and brazenly disobeys the court's permanent injunction." He has been scamming investors for five years since he said he wouldn't, noted the SEC. He has taken at least six investors for $391,000 by falsely claiming to control two wireless companies and falsely telling potential investors they can reap large profits. (He said he could double one investor's money.) Further, he has not paid the $2 million he was assessed in 2005, noted the agency.

Vassallo has conned investors in Tahiti and New Zealand, and funneled investor funds to foreign bank accounts, said the SEC. (Stashing funds in offshore tax havens is a Vassallo specialty. In the past, he has used such secrecy havens as Grenada, Nauru and the Isle of Man.) Vassallo has evaded investors' repeated requests to account for his expenditure of their money, said the SEC, and he has lied to investors about the reason for his 2005 injunction against fraud. In wooing investors since that injunction, Vassallo has "shown no inclination whatsoever" to obey the court order, said the SEC, as he used fraud and deceit to sell unregistered securities. The filing was signed by David S. Brown of the SEC's Los Angeles office.

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Comments

Visduh Sept. 21, 2010 @ 4:37 p.m.

Yeah, yeah, the SEC only has civil enforcement power, meaning that the worst that can happen to him is that he gets slapped with ANOTHER injunction and batch of fines. But isn't this stuff also criminal in nature, meaning that the DOJ and/or the state can and should go after him? Where are our local US Atty and District Attorney while all this goes down? AWOL? It would so appear.

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SurfPuppy619 Sept. 21, 2010 @ 4:39 p.m.

They need to throw this bum in the big house for 20 years-that will cure his scamming.

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Don Bauder Sept. 21, 2010 @ 5:27 p.m.

Response to post #1: Excellent point. I did one column, as I recall, on Vassallo when I was with the U-T. I did two Reader columns on him in 2003, another about six years later, and a bunch of blog items. All along, I have been surprised that criminal authorities have not gone after him. He gets nailed by civil authorities, ignores his obligations, and goes on scamming people. For example, I knew he was in Tahiti and several other locations because people had called and emailed me about him. This is one for a criminal prosecutor. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 21, 2010 @ 5:29 p.m.

Response to post #2: There may be jurisdictional problems. He is now in Texas, or was the last time I tried to locate him. He has all kinds of offshore connections and might just flee the country. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 24, 2010 @ 12:19 p.m.

NOTE: Today (Sept. 24) San Diego federal judge Irma Gonzalez agreed with the SEC and ordered Vassallo to appear before the court to show cause why an order of civil contempt should not be issued. "Vassallo further shall show cause why he should not be incarcerated" and fined heavily, said the judge, who froze Vassallo's assets. Best, Don Bauder

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beege10 Sept. 26, 2010 @ 11:55 a.m.

bobby vassallo is in austin texas...his co and web site is city wireless ...help@city wireless.com phone # is 512 308 6101..check it out...showing pictures of him w... / all kinds of so called with important people...his sites touts his trying to raise funds and help many charities w/ fundraising ...this one of the ways he finds investors for his scams...also his wife cynthia is his beard and accomplice..he uses her to make him seem real...she is just as guilty as he is...she always has a sob story... they both need to be in prison...hope someone checks out her part in this scam...I thought there was a new law about recouping questionable funds in these shelters...hope so...I have other info on this scumbag as well

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misspentyouth Sept. 28, 2010 @ 5:14 p.m.

Bobby's show time is Thursday Oct 7th 10am, Federal court - Judge Gonzalas. But knowing him, he will be a no-show, as he was in the previouse injunctions in February 2010.If Bobby and Cynthia are still married, she again will not testify regarding this, as she did in 04/05. Motion granted stipulates that he surrenders his passport, but they have to catch him state side to do it, good luck.

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