Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Fast cars and faster times: Filner backer of interest

Symbolic name has long and colorful La Jolla big money history

From Symbolic's home page
From Symbolic's home page

Back in October 2012 we first reported here on a conspicuously large contribution made to "San Diegans in Support of Bob Filner for Mayor - 2012," an independent expenditure committee formed to support the Democratic ex-congressman's bid to run the city.

The second biggest donor was an entity identified by the disclosure as South Beach Acquisitions of La Jolla, with $120,000 on September 27. State records show that South Beach Acquisitions, Inc. is a California corporation with an address of 7440 La Jolla Boulevard. Other entities at the same address include the La Jolla Children’s Foundation, a small non-profit corporation headed by Marc and Ruth Chase, according to its 2011 annual filing with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. The main tenant at the location is Symbolic Motor Car Company, a high-end car dealership featuring Bugatti, Lamborghini, Bentley, Ferrari, Porsche, and Rolls Royce.

Nobody was returning calls then about why the mysteriously named company, à la Miami Vice, was backing the San Diego Democrat, though there was a distinct whiff of wheels and deals.

Forbes magazine had written about Symbolic and its racy owners more than a decade earlier, in March 1999.

Symbolic Motor Car was launched 14 years ago by Bernie and Marc Chase, a pair of high-strung brothers from Los Angeles afflicted with Southland car culture to the point of neurosis. One by one they bought and sold increasingly more exotic cars — Symbolic owns all of its stock and does not sell on consignment — until eventually their remarkable savvy made them the largest dealer of collectible and performance cars in the world.Steve McQueen’s Ferrari 275, Elvis Presley’s BMW 507, Sophia Loren’s Rolls-Royce: Sooner or later the most exotic cars have ended up with the Chase brothers.

Today, according to a report in U-T San Diego, Symbolic's Marc Chase has been linked to a federal probe of big-time political money laundering.

Ernesto Encinas, an ex–San Diego cop, and Ravneet Singh, identified as a political consultant from Washington, D.C. have been charged in the case, but few other details have emerged.

Before Chase, there was Texas savings and loan swindler Don Dixon, who ran Vernon Savings and took a Lone Star–size liking to San Diego and the swinging lifestyle of its super rich, as related by Stephen Pizzo, Mary Fricker and Paul Muolo in their 1989 book Inside Job, the Looting of America's Savings and Loans.

Don had loved cars since he was a kid, and in May of 1985 he had Vernon [Savings] buy Symbolic Motors, a Rolls-Royce and Ferrari dealership in affluent La Jolla, just south of Del Mar. Rare and expensive autos stood reflected in the polished tile floors, each car exhibited like a rare gem in its own section of the display room. Dixon justified the purchase of the dealership by saying that it would offer Vernon an opportunity to "break into the consumer lending market."

Dixon deployed even more cash from Vernon to finance a Del Mar mansion where all manner of decadence occurred, as recounted in March 1991 by the New York Times after Dixon had been convicted and locked up in federal prison.

Karen Wilkening of San Diego, known as the "Rolodex Madam," testified that some of her high-priced call girls worked several Vernon parties. Their fee was $400 per woman, and they were said to have been paid more than $15,000 all together. At one party, said the Rolodex Madam, $500 was tacked on the bill because one prostitute spent the entire evening with a customer. A Vernon employee fingered Mr. Dixon as the person.

In June 1990, U-T San Diego, then known as the San Diego Union-Tribune and owned by Helen Copley, ran a story linking high-flying real estate magnate, now U-T owner Doug Manchester, to Dixon and his hijinks.

Dixon's local acquaintances included Rancho Santa Fe resident Lawrence Taggart, a one-time Great American Bank executive and former state savings and loan commissioner, and local developer Douglas Manchester. The indictment alleged Dixon also billed Vernon $10,500 for prostitutes for himself and others at a 1985 Vernon board of directors' party at the Solana Beach house and on a yacht cruise in San Diego harbor. Dixon also allegedly used Vernon's money for hunting trips with thrift officials to Kansas and San Diego.

Based on accounts of the current federal investigation into money-laundering downtown, La Jolla's latest encounter with political infamy is just beginning.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Protestors accuse Trump Boat Parade of trading in racist stereotypes

White Suprema-sea?
Next Article

SinShip Spirits is putting tiki cocktails in a can

Peat-smoked rum maker will have Zombies ready to drink by October
From Symbolic's home page
From Symbolic's home page

Back in October 2012 we first reported here on a conspicuously large contribution made to "San Diegans in Support of Bob Filner for Mayor - 2012," an independent expenditure committee formed to support the Democratic ex-congressman's bid to run the city.

The second biggest donor was an entity identified by the disclosure as South Beach Acquisitions of La Jolla, with $120,000 on September 27. State records show that South Beach Acquisitions, Inc. is a California corporation with an address of 7440 La Jolla Boulevard. Other entities at the same address include the La Jolla Children’s Foundation, a small non-profit corporation headed by Marc and Ruth Chase, according to its 2011 annual filing with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. The main tenant at the location is Symbolic Motor Car Company, a high-end car dealership featuring Bugatti, Lamborghini, Bentley, Ferrari, Porsche, and Rolls Royce.

Nobody was returning calls then about why the mysteriously named company, à la Miami Vice, was backing the San Diego Democrat, though there was a distinct whiff of wheels and deals.

Forbes magazine had written about Symbolic and its racy owners more than a decade earlier, in March 1999.

Symbolic Motor Car was launched 14 years ago by Bernie and Marc Chase, a pair of high-strung brothers from Los Angeles afflicted with Southland car culture to the point of neurosis. One by one they bought and sold increasingly more exotic cars — Symbolic owns all of its stock and does not sell on consignment — until eventually their remarkable savvy made them the largest dealer of collectible and performance cars in the world.Steve McQueen’s Ferrari 275, Elvis Presley’s BMW 507, Sophia Loren’s Rolls-Royce: Sooner or later the most exotic cars have ended up with the Chase brothers.

Today, according to a report in U-T San Diego, Symbolic's Marc Chase has been linked to a federal probe of big-time political money laundering.

Ernesto Encinas, an ex–San Diego cop, and Ravneet Singh, identified as a political consultant from Washington, D.C. have been charged in the case, but few other details have emerged.

Before Chase, there was Texas savings and loan swindler Don Dixon, who ran Vernon Savings and took a Lone Star–size liking to San Diego and the swinging lifestyle of its super rich, as related by Stephen Pizzo, Mary Fricker and Paul Muolo in their 1989 book Inside Job, the Looting of America's Savings and Loans.

Don had loved cars since he was a kid, and in May of 1985 he had Vernon [Savings] buy Symbolic Motors, a Rolls-Royce and Ferrari dealership in affluent La Jolla, just south of Del Mar. Rare and expensive autos stood reflected in the polished tile floors, each car exhibited like a rare gem in its own section of the display room. Dixon justified the purchase of the dealership by saying that it would offer Vernon an opportunity to "break into the consumer lending market."

Dixon deployed even more cash from Vernon to finance a Del Mar mansion where all manner of decadence occurred, as recounted in March 1991 by the New York Times after Dixon had been convicted and locked up in federal prison.

Karen Wilkening of San Diego, known as the "Rolodex Madam," testified that some of her high-priced call girls worked several Vernon parties. Their fee was $400 per woman, and they were said to have been paid more than $15,000 all together. At one party, said the Rolodex Madam, $500 was tacked on the bill because one prostitute spent the entire evening with a customer. A Vernon employee fingered Mr. Dixon as the person.

In June 1990, U-T San Diego, then known as the San Diego Union-Tribune and owned by Helen Copley, ran a story linking high-flying real estate magnate, now U-T owner Doug Manchester, to Dixon and his hijinks.

Dixon's local acquaintances included Rancho Santa Fe resident Lawrence Taggart, a one-time Great American Bank executive and former state savings and loan commissioner, and local developer Douglas Manchester. The indictment alleged Dixon also billed Vernon $10,500 for prostitutes for himself and others at a 1985 Vernon board of directors' party at the Solana Beach house and on a yacht cruise in San Diego harbor. Dixon also allegedly used Vernon's money for hunting trips with thrift officials to Kansas and San Diego.

Based on accounts of the current federal investigation into money-laundering downtown, La Jolla's latest encounter with political infamy is just beginning.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

SinShip Spirits is putting tiki cocktails in a can

Peat-smoked rum maker will have Zombies ready to drink by October
Next Article

Protestors accuse Trump Boat Parade of trading in racist stereotypes

White Suprema-sea?
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close