A judge froze the assets of a Rancho Cucamonga man accused of bilking businesses out of at least $850,000 while marketing himself with endorsements from Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. and A.C. Green, regulators said Monday.
The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Leon Jordan II and associate Raymond J. Brown of Marrero, La., with securities fraud and operating as unregistered broker-dealers.
The suit, filed Dec. 30 in federal court in Los Angeles, claims the pair told investment-seeking firms that they were coordinators for billion-dollar bond offerings. They collected at least $850,000 in fees, pledging to refund them if the bond deals didn't occur, the SEC contends. The suit says no bonds were sold -- and no fees returned.
Besides freezing Jordan's assets last week, U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson also froze some of Brown's assets, said Russell G. Ryan, an SEC attorney. The SEC said Jordan's wife, Sheila, was not part of the alleged scam, but also had her assets frozen because she received funds from Jordan's businesses.
Jordan's lawyer, Kenneth White of Los Angeles, said the suit contains inaccuracies that will be addressed in court. Jordan always meant to refund the advance fees and will work with the SEC to do so, White said.
Brown's lawyer, Michael Fitzgerald of Los Angeles, said his client never intended to cheat anyone: "If a fraud occurred, [Brown] is a victim of it as well."
Jordan's materials quote Green as saying Jordan "did an outstanding job" negotiating Green's first Los Angeles Laker contract in 1985. Green said Monday that he hadn't spoken with Jordan in more than five years and did not make the comment attributed to him.
Cochran is quoted as saying he "enjoyed watching Leon grow up," and believes Jordan "has continued along a road in the financial/legal arena traveled by few." Cochran couldn't be reached for comment.