J. David Aide on Probation May Face Jail

San Diego County Business Editor

Former J. David & Co. aide Parin Columna has not cooperated with the trustee in charge of the bankrupt La Jolla investment firm and must show why his three-year probation term should not be revoked, a federal probation officer said in court papers filed Wednesday.

A hearing before U.S. District Judge William B. Enright is scheduled for Monday morning, at which Columna's probation could be revoked or extended. If Enright revokes the probation, Columna could be sentenced to up to six months in custody.

Neither Columna nor his attorney, Michael J. McCabe, could be reached for comment Wednesday.

Columna, an obscure carpenter until his work for J. David & Co. thrust him into the public spotlight and resulted in his indictment by a federal grand jury, was sentenced on June 4 after pleading guilty to one misdemeanor count of criminal contempt of court. Columna's plea related to aiding and abetting J. David (Jerry) Dominelli during his flight to the tiny Caribbean island of Montserrat in April, 1984, to avoid imprisonment.

Columna, according to federal probation officer Magdeline E. Jensen, has not provided trustee Louis Metzger with a sworn financial statement, nor has he relinquished possession of a Honda generator, worth nearly $1,300.

Metzger did receive from Columna a 1976 Porsche 914 and a 1982 Ford pickup truck, although the Porsche doesn't run and the truck is in poor condition, Metzger said in an interview Wednesday.

"He did turn over some financial information, but it wasn't in usable form," said Metzger.

Columna reportedly received about $1.4 million from J. David & Co. entities in 1983 and the trustee said he has a "fiduciary duty" to confirm that Columna still doesn't have any of those funds.

Meanwhile, Dominelli is now at a federal hospital in Springfield, Mo., where he will undergo a routine medical evaluation before being assigned to a federal facility to begin serving his 20-year prison term.

It was the Springfield facility where Dominelli would have gone had he been found incompetent to stand trial after his partly paralyzing stroke in October. His family had strongly protested his possible transfer there at the time, arguing that he could be receive better treatment in San Diego.

Dominelli was sentenced last month after pleading guilty to four counts of fraud and income tax evasion in connection with the collapse of his once-booming J. David & Co. The firm lured about $200 million from 1,500 investors with promises of annual returns of up to 40% in the foreign currency trading market.

In truth, Dominelli did little if any trading, and prosecutors charged that he actually defrauded investors of more than $80 million.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
61°