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Jailed Newport Man Accused of Bilking 300 of $1.8 Million in 2nd Scam

Times Staff Writer

A Newport Beach man already in jail for alleged violation of his probation in a 1985 investment scam has been hit with a 46-count felony warrant charging that he bilked more than 300 people of $1.8 million in a complex new scheme.

The warrant, alleging multiple counts of grand theft and violation of state corporation codes, was served Friday on Donald C. Dyer as he sat in Orange County Jail awaiting trial Oct. 10 on the probation violation charge.

Also named in identical 46-count warrants issued by the district attorney’s office are Dyer’s wife, Louise Nancy Dyer, and two business associates, Paul Mareks and Carlos Gonzales.

Bail on the warrants was set at $1 million for Dyer, $250,000 for Louise Dyer and $500,000 each for Mareks and Gonzalez.

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The three are scheduled to surrender in Central Municipal Court in Santa Ana this morning, according to Costa Mesa fraud detective Steve Labbitt, who worked with investigators from the Placentia Police Department and the state Department of Corporations to prepare the case.

According to Labbitt and Deputy Dist. Atty. William L. Overtoom, the Dyers, assisted by Mareks and Gonzales, set up an interlocking series of companies selling investment opportunities ranging from restaurant franchises and coal mines to privately owned pay telephones. They also brought investors into a company that they said was going to revive the Clenet luxury sports car.

“They weren’t really selling anything,” said Overtoom. “They were putting together groups of people to invest in a variety of things. Then they would take the investors’ money, but they didn’t use it for the purposes they were supposed to use it for.”

Companies involved in the alleged investment scam are Minter Mark Mining Services, Quality Pay Phones and Columbia Equities, Overtoom said.

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In the early stages of the probe, investigators determined that Dyer had violated his probation by engaging in allegedly illegal business practices. He was jailed June 23 for violation of the three years’ probation he received after pleading guilty in 1985 to a felony charge of making false financial statements.

In that case, Dyer “had a home equity sharing program where people who invested were supposed to be given grant deeds” but never received them, Overtoom said.


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