Pang said to receive $83 million

Irvine financier Danny Pang, accused by the government of operating a Ponzi scheme, received at least $83 million in inflated fees, salary and loans from his investment firm before it was seized by federal regulators in April, according to unsealed court documents.

Robert P. Mosier, a court-appointed receiver overseeing Pang's former company, Private Equity Management Group Inc., made the assertion in a report filed June 19. The report and other documents, which had been sealed by a court order, were unsealed Thursday by U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez in Los Angeles.

Of the money received by Pang, Mosier's report says, $1.7 million apparently went to Pang's "alleged bookie."

A lawyer for Pang condemned the receiver's report. In a letter dated Tuesday and submitted to the court, David J. Schindler said the $83-million figure cited by the receiver was "demonstrably false and clearly inserted as an attempt to inflame third parties." He also described the allegation of a payment to a bookie as unsupported and "salacious."

A spokesman for Pang declined to comment Friday.

Pang, 42, has been accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of defrauding investors through a scheme in which money from new investors, instead of being invested on their behalf, was paid to earlier investors -- the definition of a Ponzi scheme. Pang has denied those allegations.

FBI agents arrested Pang late last month after prosecutors charged him with cashing a series of checks for just below $10,000 to avoid having the transactions reported to authorities.

Pang, who is free on $1-million bail, has said through his attorneys that he did nothing improper.

Private Equity Management Group raised more than $800 million from investors mainly in Taiwan, investing the money in life insurance policies held by elderly people and in real estate loans, according to an earlier report by Mosier.

A hearing is scheduled for Monday on several matters in the case. Pang's attorneys have asked that Mosier be replaced as the receiver in the case, saying he violated the earlier court order sealing his findings by sending copies of them to prosecutors.

Mosier could not be reached for comment.

The court documents were released Thursday after Dow Jones & Co., publisher of the Wall Street Journal, challenged the order sealing them.

In April, the Wall Street Journal reported that Pang had falsified his credentials, including claiming to hold degrees from UC Irvine. Pang apparently was a UC Irvine student leader -- serving as chairman of a campus organization -- without being enrolled, the paper reported.

Pang's wife, Janie, was shot to death in 1997 when she answered the door at the couple's Villa Park home. Hugh McDonald, a Newport Beach lawyer who knew Danny Pang, was charged with the crime, but his 2002 trial ended in a hung jury. McDonald's attorney claimed that a hit man hired by Pang was the killer.

Danny Pang's attorney at the time said the killer was not McDonald or Pang, but another man stalking Janie Pang, a former stripper.

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peter.hong@latimes.com

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