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Warrant Issued for Ex-Developer : Court: Donald Hill Williams Jr. reportedly ignored subpoena to testify in investors’ case. His lawyer says he never got notice.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

An Orange County Superior Court judge issued a warrant Monday for the arrest of Donald Hill Williams Jr., the former Orange County developer whom state regulators have accused of running a multimillion-dollar scam.

The warrant alleges that Williams, 46, disobeyed a subpoena to appear in Santa Ana court, a clerk to Judge William F. McDonald said.

The warrant, which sets bail at $2,500, states that Williams was served a subpoena Feb. 7. Attorneys for Williams, however, said the former Newport Beach resident never got any such subpoena. Williams “assures me he was not in the state” on Feb. 7, lawyer William Starrett II said.

Judge McDonald on Monday also issued a similar arrest warrant for Linda Drysol, Williams’ girlfriend and a former employee of Williams’ now-defunct company, Hill Williams Development Corp. Drysol, a resident of Lake Forest, also said she was not served a subpoena that day, Starrett said.

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Hill Williams Development, based in Anaheim, filed for bankruptcy protection in early 1993 amid allegations that the company operated a Ponzi scheme, in which new investors were paid with funds from earlier investors, and that several thousand people may have lost $90 million invested through Williams’ company. Lawsuits filed by investors in federal and state court are pending.

Williams, who was the founder and president of Hill Williams Development, has denied that he ever intentionally defrauded investors. He filed for personal bankruptcy in 1993. He has been living in Utah for at least the past two months, attorney Starrett said, although Williams was in Santa Ana last week for a deposition related to a federal trial that ended last month.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge John E. Ryan, who is presiding over that trial, is expected to decide next week whether Williams can use his personal bankruptcy filing to shield him from potentially millions of dollars in judgments against him, Santa Ana attorney Lloyd Charton said.

Separately, a trial began last week in Orange County Superior Court stemming from lawsuits filed by former Hill Williams investors. It is for that trial, which is continuing this week, that Williams and Drysol were allegedly subpoenaed to testify.

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