Alleged Scam Involving Timeshares Part of Multi-Million Dollar Fraud
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Allegations include fraud, lies, and deception in a tale that involves glamour, Hollywood stars, timeshares, and an unsolved murder.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has frozen the assets of companies run by Taiwanese immigrant and longtime Los Angeles resident, Danny Pang. Pang allegedly employed a classic Ponzi scheme where money from new investors was used to pay the investment returns of previous investors in an effort to cover a life insurance investment that was not paying off fast enough for the company’s needs.
In a civil lawsuit, the SEC alleges that Pang and his companies have raise hundreds of millions of dollars, much of it coming from investors in Taiwan. The actions of federal regulators came shortly after the Wall Street Journal ran a lengthy article that carried allegations from a former executive in one of Pang’s companies who claims Pang misused investors’ money, double billed them for legal and insurance costs, and lied about his academic credentials. The employee, Nasar Aboubakare, has a $50 million breach-of-contract suit pending against one of Pang’s companies. In the past, Pang has represented himself as a former senior vice president and high-tech merger adviser with Morgan Stanley, and as having an MBA from the University of California at Irvine; neither of which officials have been able to verify.
Little about how timeshares were involved in the scams has been revealed other than this statement that appeared in the OC Register: “Pang and his firm told investors that they would purchase life insurance policies at a discount and then collect the benefits upon the death of the insured. But the policies did not generate sufficient returns to cover all the costs. The SEC said Pang had his company pay the insurance investors with money from clients who invested in timeshares.”
Pang traveled in the highest social circles in Los Angeles and ran his companies, Private Equity Management Group Inc. and Private Equity Management Group LLC, from the nearby city of Irvine. His name frequently made the news as he engaged in fundraising and other civic efforts with Hollywood stars and media celebrities.
In 1997, Pang’s wife, Janie, was the victim of a murder that remains unsolved.