Ex-Padre Pitcher D’Acquisto Defrauded Investors, Judge Rules
A federal judge has ruled that former San Diego Padres pitcher John F. D’Acquisto, his lawyer and two of his companies defrauded two investors out of $6.5 million in an investment scheme.
U.S. District Judge Marilyn L. Huff ruled that D’Acquisto, his companies and lawyer Thomas F. Goodman falsely represented themselves to the investors as sophisticated money managers and falsely stated that investors’ funds were secure in low-risk ventures that would be paid back, with interest.
The ruling was made Sept. 20 but wasn’t released until Wednesday by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which filed the civil action in July.
The SEC lawsuit accused the two men, D’Acquisto Financial Group Inc. and Doubleday Trust, of guaranteeing investors returns of 5% to 7% a week and then, when such returns didn’t materialize, telling investors that they couldn’t get their money back.
D’Acquisto, 44, Goodman, 52, and the companies admitted that they used investor funds to purchase three racehorses, vacant land in Mexico and an interest in a Mexican baseball team in a minor league that didn’t operate.
James A. Howell, an SEC trial counsel, said he will seek a total of $7 million from the defendants. He said there was an error in the judge’s calculation of losses.
The SEC suit charged that D’Acquisto and the others also defrauded Kensington Trust Ltd. in the West Indies and Alliance Holdings Ltd. in Gibraltar of $4.8 million and $2 million, respectively. Howell said he also will seek reimbursement of $200,000 for a Costa Mesa firm, Corvina Holdings Inc., that suffered losses.
Neither D’Acquisto nor Goodman could be reached Wednesday for comment.