Daniel Powell 9:30 a.m., Aug. 21
Accused Ponzi Schemer LaChina Files for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Richard LaChina (also spelled La China and Lachina), called "a serial Ponzi schemer and career impostor" in a civil suit filed in late 2007, on July 30 filed for Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy. The civil suit filed by irate investors is now on hold according to Scott Dreher, one of two attorneys who filed the suit. LaChina's former spouse, Kristen Gauss, had filed a bankruptcy case against him in April. In his petition, LaChina lists $33,684 in assets and $25 million in liabilities. He lists 95% ownership of ASSIS Computer Technologies and 100% of Costa Rica real estate assets, along with smaller percentages of other real estate. He lists a Harley Davidson worth $10,000, but he owes $15,700 on it. He owes large sums on credit cards to American Express, Bank of America, Citibank, and First National Bank of Omaha. He owes $20 million to Capital Source Finance, $1.5 million to First Mountain Bank of Big Bear Lake, and $480,000 to San Diego law firm Higgs Fletcher & Mack for business debt. And that's just a smattering of his obligations.