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Doctor Gets Caught With Hernandezes

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Federal authorities investigating Daniel and Susie Hernandez seized a Ferrari they sold to a Bel-Air doctor in January, only to find that the doctor violated federal currency laws when he paid $80,000 cash for the car.

The new information is contained in an affidavit for a search warrant filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana.

An attorney for Daniel Hernandez informed Internal Revenue Service agents this week that Daniel Hernandez sold his 1991 Ferrari Mondial to Dr. Melvin Goldy. Goldy told IRS investigator Jennifer E. Mullins that he paid for the car with 800 $100 bills, registering the car in the name of Goldy Living Trust, the affidavit says.

In paying for the car, Goldy admitted withdrawing the money from his accounts in numerous transactions lower than $10,000 each to avoid having his bank notify U.S. Treasury officials.

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Withdrawals of $10,000 or more require that a “currency transmittal report” be filed. Goldy withdrew $9,500 from personal and business accounts over a number of days and admitted “he did not want the IRS to know what he was doing,” Mullins wrote in the affidavit.

Assistant U.S. Atty. Stephen Wolfe said Goldy has not been charged with a crime and would not comment about whether he would be charged. On Thursday, authorities seized the Ferrari, which Goldy had been driving, Wolfe said.

Goldy did not return a call for comment Thursday. Eugene Albertini and James T. Duff, attorneys for the Hernandezes, also did not return calls for comment.

Authorities have now seized four of Daniel Hernandez’s cars, including a 1990 Rolls-Royce Silver Spur, a 1990 Ferrari Testarossa and a 1990 Mercedes 500 SL coupe. According to a previously filed government affidavit, the Hernandezes bought the Ferrari Mondial in July, 1991, for $123,920 from Newport Imports.

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Since 1987, the government alleges, Daniel Hernandez leased or owned at least 15 luxury cars, including five Mercedes-Benzes, three Rolls-Royces, three Ferraris, one Jaguar, one Aston Martin and one Porsche.

The Hernandezes, a Mission Viejo couple and Orange County socialites, were charged last month with money laundering, wire fraud and bank fraud in connection with nearly $8 million missing from a Santa Fe Springs precious metals firm where Daniel Hernandez worked.

The couple have waived their right to a preliminary hearing. The U.S. attorney’s office has until March 19 to seek indictments in the case.


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