San Gabriel man who fled from justice prior to sentencing in $11 million fraud case nabbed in Las Vegas


Nearly a year after fleeing from justice prior to his sentencing, a former San Gabriel man who pleaded guilty to wire fraud after bilking dozens of investors and families out of $11 million was in custody Wednesday, authorities said.
Acting on tips from the public, FBI agents arrested David Kaup, 30, Tuesday at a home where he had been staying in Las Vegas, FBI officials said in a written statement. He’s accused of bilking $9 million from investors through a bogus investment scheme, as well as another $2 million from families through a fraudulent home refinancing scheme.
Kaup, who was free from custody after pleading guilty in connection with his case, never showed up at his sentencing hearing, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said. He faced a maximum sentence of 40 years in federal prison.
“(Kaup) was scheduled to be sentenced Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, in United States District Court after pleading guilty to two counts of wire fraud on April 9, 2012,” according to the FBI statement. “Once it had been established that Kaup fled the area and justice, a federal judge issued a warrant for his arrest.”
But Kaup did not prove an easy man to find, and the FBI reached out to the public for help in tracking him down.
Media coverage helped generate a tip that led investigators to the Las Vegas home where Kaup had been hiding out, authorities said. He was taken into custody without a struggle.
Kaup pleaded guilty to charges stemming from two different scams, officials said.
In the first scam, Kaup used created a company called Lunden Investments and persuaded investors to give him more than $9 million, which he claimed would fund commercial loans, officials said. But instead, he lost the money trading on the Foreign Currency Exchange Market.
Kaup then started a second con, officials said.
“Kaup admitted that through his second company, (American Loans and Funding), he told homeowners that he could refinance their homes at below-market rates, so long as they provided certain funds up front to demonstrate that they financially
qualified for the special loan terms,” according to the FBI statement. “These funds were supposed to be kept safe during the
loan process and then returned when the loan was either approved or denied. Kaup admitted that he never tried to refinance the homeowners’ loans, and instead used the victims’ money to buy luxury items for himself and to trade on the Foreign Currency Exchange Market.”
He ran a similar scheme with a third company called First Mortgage West, netting about $2 million from 50 families seeking help with refinancing their homes, FBI officials said.
Kaup was expected to be returned to Los Angeles to appear in court “in the near future,” according to the FBI statement.
It was not clear Wednesday if he would face additional charges in connection with his alleged flight from justice.

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Ambert Alert issued for Las Vegas child abduction

From the Associated Press:

29700-CLAIRE TOURAND-thumb-300x374-29699.jpgLOS ANGELES — An Amber Alert for three states, including California, was issued today for a Las Vegas woman suspected of abducting her four children, according to police and the California Highway Patrol.
  Claire Tourand, 34, failed to show up for a custody meeting with social service officials in Las Vegas, and an arrest warrant was issued earlier today, a Reno, Nev., police officer said.
  A family court judge also issued an order for the return of the children, saying there’s an immediate risk of harm to them.
The Amber Alert is in effect in Nevada, California and Arizona, and authorities believe she may be headed to Mexico in a white 1998 Mercury Sable, license plate 369 SDH, said CHP Officer Patrick Kimball.
  The children, Ivan, Jakelyne, Megan and Tyson Mata-Martinez, range in age from 4 to 9, the police officer said.

*PHOTO of Claire Tourand courtesy of the Washoe County Sheriff’s Department, Nevada


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A Las Vegas jury found OJ Simpson guilty in a gunpoint robbery at the Palace Station Casino last year. Interestingly enough, some of the cast of weirdos that he robbed believe their hero was railroaded. Here’s the AP story (Note the interesting twist):

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Jurors in the O.J. Simpson trial reached a verdict Friday after working into the night, deliberating the fate of the former football star and a co-defendant accused of robbing two sports memorabilia dealers at gunpoint in a casino hotel room.
“We have a verdict,” said Michael Sommermeyer, spokesman for the Clark County District Court. He said it would be read after all the defendants, lawyers and prosecutors arrived at the court.
The jury reached a decision after deliberating for more than 13 hours.
Simpson, 61, and a golfing buddy, Clarence “C.J.” Stewart, 54, each face five years to life in prison if convicted of kidnapping, or mandatory prison time if convicted of armed robbery. They’ve pleaded not guilty to 12 charges, including conspiracy, coercion and assault with a deadly weapon.
Deliberations began 13 years to the day after Simpson was acquitted of killing his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, in Los Angeles.

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KFI reporter blogging from OJ trial

KFI’s Steve Gregory is blogging live reports from Las Vegas, where OJ Simpson is on trial for robbery. He’s put together some pretty interesting tidbits covering, testimony, acrimony and disharmony.

Here’s an excerpt from one of yesterday’s entries:

WOW – what an afternoon……Walter Alexander just finished his testimony….the defense wanted to impeach his testimony because of allegations that Alexander’s a pimp and owns a website that hires out hookers. Judge says NO. Prosecution says all of that came up in preliminary hearings and they could have stopped it then. At one point, Simpson attorney, Yale Galanter, approached Alexander in the witness stand and began reading a transcript — Alexander says, “Step Back” – Galanter says, “No, I’m going to do what the prosecution does” – the bailiff starts to go over…the judge tells Galanter to step back and chews his ass out for disobeying a request from the witness and an order from the court!!!

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