People v. Kenneth Powell, Katie Rose, and Paul Lascola
(Real Estate Fraud)
Three convicted and sentenced in real estate investment fraud scheme
The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office successfully prosecuted one of the largest real estate investment fraud schemes uncovered in the county involving victim losses exceeding $3 million. This prosecution was the result of a long term investigation conducted by the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigation working in combination with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Bureau and the Ventura Police Department. These law enforcement agencies received numerous complaints against three defendants arising out of their marketing and sale of various investments purportedly secured by real estate in the state of Arizona and the California cities of Taft, Goleta, Canyon Country, Ventura, and Thousand Oaks.
Defendants Kenneth Powell and Katie Rose made contact with many of the alleged victims as “Ken & Katie,” the hosts of radio programs named “Academy of Real Estate” and “Money Intelligence” that previously aired on a local radio station. Defendants Powell and Rose paid the station for their air time.[collapsible_item title=”Read More”]
The investigation revealed that from June 2005 through May 2008, Powell and Rose falsely represented to victims that investment monies would be used to develop new homes on vacant lots located in Taft, California. Additional victims were falsely led to believe their investments were being used to make loans to borrowers secured by recorded deeds of trust. The deeds of trust issued to the victims were essentially worthless because the properties were either previously encumbered by defendant Paul 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.
Powell pled guilty to 15 felony crimes and admitted multiple special allegations, including the aggravated white collar crime enhancement which increases punishment for taking money or property in excess of $500,000, in a pattern of felony conduct involving fraud or embezzlement. Powell was sentenced to serve 18 years in state prison for his role in a real estate investment fraud scheme, and ordered to pay $4,341,119 in restitution
Rose pled guilty to 13 felony crimes and admitted the aggravated white collar crime enhancement as well. She was sentenced to serve 12 years 8 months in state prison, and ordered to pay $3,403,158 in restitution.
Lascola pled guilty to 11 felony crimes and admitted multiple special allegations, including the aggravated white collar crime enhancement. He was sentenced to 10 years in state prison and ordered to pay $3,021,187.[/collapsible_item]