Cardillo Ex-Boss to Pay $60,000 to Settle SEC Suit

Times Staff Writer

Arnold Walter Rognlien, a prominent Los Angeles businessman who ran Cardillo Travel Systems until its sudden collapse two years ago, has agreed to pay the Securities and Exchange Commission $60,000 to settle a civil suit that accused Rognlien of insider trading and other securities law violations.

Rognlien, 75, didn’t admit or deny guilt in relation to any SEC claims. According to the SEC suit, Rognlien knew about Cardillo Travel’s deteriorating condition when he sold 100,000 Cardillo Travel shares in April, 1986. The SEC initially sought to recover $237,500 that it claimed Rognlien received from the sale.

In addition, the SEC alleged that Rognlien and his wife, Esther Lawrence Rognlien, altered Cardillo’s books to show a profit for the quarter that ended on June 30, 1985. Esther Rognlien earlier settled SEC charges against her.


Sheldon Jaffe, Rognlien’s lawyer, had no comment on the settlement. Rognlien couldn’t be reached. As part of the settlement, Rognlien agreed not to violate any securities laws.

Family Feud

Rognlien acquired Cardillo Travel in 1956 and built it into one of the largest travel agencies in the country. At its zenith, in 1981, it served as the centerpiece of Rognlien’s business empire, which included an auto parts distributorship, the Cozy Nook fast-food restaurant chain and Icee USA, an ice-drink confection company.

But Rognlien’s mini-conglomerate was hurt by a family feud as well as dwindling profits at his travel agency. Many of Rognlien’s firms have been closed or sold, and Cardillo Travel is in bankruptcy court proceedings.