Bernard Mass rarely concentrates on just one deal at a time.
In the fall of 1988--as he was pushing $1 million in phony sales through Whiteworth, a scheme now under investigation by the FBI--Mass tried to take over Grand Chevrolet. That was the Glendora car dealership that had grown to be the nation's third largest before it collapsed amid charges of fraud.
At Whiteworth's impressive Gardena offices, Mass met with hundreds of the mostly Filipino investors who stood to lose $42 million in Grand's demise. He told them he was a turnaround expert with financial backers at Coast Savings and elsewhere.
"But when the time came when we asked him to put his money where his mouth was, he didn't come up with any money," recalled Dr. Artemio G. Pagdan, a Pomona physician who was one of the investors.
At the urgings of Grand's trustee, a bankruptcy judge refused Mass' request in October, 1988, for extra time to arrange a takeover.