Man Convicted of Fraud in Audio Leasing Scheme

A Los Angeles federal court jury convicted a 34-year-old Santa Fe Springs man of 15 counts of fraud Thursday in an audio equipment leasing scheme that purportedly cost 15 financial institutions more than $23 million.

Jurors deliberated about a day after a two-week trial in finding Kimball Richards, son of former state Sen. Richard Richards, who left office in the early 1960s, guilty on eight counts of mail fraud, six counts of bank fraud and one count of wire fraud.

Assistant U.S. Atty. Leon Weidman said Kimball Richards, head of a Los Angeles firm specializing in recording and rock concert promotions, pretended to lease equipment from another company, Riviera Capital Corp., which would then sell bogus leases. Richards collected about $16 million through the scheme, the prosecutor estimated.

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