Ex-Secret Service Man Indicted in Presidential Souvenir Scam

From The Associated Press

An ex-Secret Service officer assigned to former President Ronald Reagan and the owner of a Canoga Park pawnshop were indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury on charges they sold bogus presidential memorabilia.

Randolph Espinosa, 45, of Ramona, and Richard Schwartz, 59, of Moorpark, were charged Tuesday on a five-count indictment, according to U.S. Atty. Nora Manella.

The indictment alleges that between July, 1994, and June, 1995, Espinosa and Schwartz sold sporting goods and other items purporting to bear autographs by former Presidents Reagan, George Bush and John F. Kennedy, as well as former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Schwartz, who owned Buena Jewelry & Loan in Canoga Park, allegedly provided buyers with phony certificates of authenticity prepared on official stationery provided by Espinosa, the former Secret Service officer.

Assistant U.S. Atty. Marc Harris said Schwartz also allegedly gave customers photographs of Reagan signing the items. But the photos were actually of a Reagan impersonator, Harris said.

If convicted on all charges, Espinosa and Schwartz each face a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and fines of up to $1.25 million. The two are scheduled to be arraigned on Oct. 23 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Eick.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World