Back in August, Alfredo Liburd, chief executive of San Diego–based defense contractor NevWest, pleaded guilty in federal court to aiding and abetting Navy port engineer John Nasshan, who improperly administered projects in which he had a financial interest. Nasshan loaned money to Liburd. Eventually, Liburd was given probation.
On December 8, two San Diegans filed a civil suit in federal court, claiming that Liburd had fleeced them, partly to pay back the money he owed Nasshan, an attempt at keeping his sinking corporate ship afloat.
Stuart and Shizue Teshima state in the suit that Liburd fraudulently induced them to invest almost $95,000 for 44 percent of NevWest. Later, Liburd convinced the two to put another $190,000 in the company. Then Liburd hired the Teshimas for a combined $150,000 a year but never paid them a cent, according to the suit.
The final insult was that Liburd got the Teshimas to sell their stock back to him for $1 — an indication of how deeply NevWest was in trouble, according to Adam Davalos, attorney for the Teshimas.
"A few months after they began working there, [the Teshimas] found the company was mired in debt that had not been disclosed to them," says Davalos. Liburd kept insisting that he had a cash-flow problem.
But Liburd paid back Nasshan 15 days after getting money from the Teshimas, says Davalos. The suit charges NevWest and Liburd with securities fraud, negligent misrepresentation, unfair business transactions, and the like.
I asked Davalos how the Teshimas expect to get money from Liburd if he is so broke. "He has hidden assets," says Davalos.