Paul Lascola, 70, Thousand Oaks, California, was sentenced by Ventura County Superior Court Judge Kent Kellegrew to serve 10 years in state prison for his role in a real estate investment fraud scheme.
Lascola previously pled guilty to 11 felonies including grand theft and elder abuse. Lascola also admitted excessive taking enhancements and an aggravated white-collar crime enhancement for taking over $500,000 through a pattern of related felony conduct involving fraud or embezzlement. Co-defendants Kenneth Powell, and Katie Rose were previously sentenced to lengthy prison sentences for their respective roles in this real estate fraud scheme.
Powell and Rose made contact with many ofthe victims as “Ken & Katie,” the hosts of radio programs called “Academy of Real Estate” and “Money Intelligence” that previously aired on a local radio station.
The investigation revealed that from June 2005 through May 2008, Powell and Rose falsely represented to victims that their investment monies would be used to develop new homes on vacant lots. Additional victims were falsely led to believe their investments were being used to make loans to borrowers, and those loans were secured by recorded first position deeds of trust. The deeds of trust issued to the victims were essentially worthless because the properties were either previously encumbered by Lascola or the deeds of trust were never recorded.
Victims wired money either directly to Lascola or to escrow accounts for eventual delivery to Lascola. Contrary to what victims were told, their investment monies were not used for construction or development, but instead were spent immediately by the defendants. Many of the victims were financially devastated as a result of the crimes committed by all three defendants.
District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced the sentence.
This prosecution was the result of a long-tern investigation conducted by the Ventura County District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit working in conjunction with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Bureau and the Ventura Police Department. A restitution hearing has been set for May 30, 2013. at 8:30 a.m. in courtroom 46, to determine the final amount the defendant will be ordered to pay the victims in this case.