O.C. Ponzi schemer sentenced to 10 years for bilking hundreds of investors


One of the executives who led a massive Orange County Ponzi scheme has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison and ordered to pay nearly $40 million in restitution to more than 700 investors.

The sentencing of Joseph Lampariello, finalized this week, is one of the last steps in a long-running investor fraud case brought against the Tustin investment firm Medical Capital Holdings and its executives.

In 2009, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged the company, along with Lampariello and another executive, with misappropriating hundreds of millions of dollars, paying themselves huge fees and covering their tracks by paying old investors with cash from new investors – the definition of a Ponzi scheme.


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Former Medical Capital Chief Executive Sidney Field reached a settlement with the SEC earlier this year and agreed to pay $2.8 million. He was not charged criminally and will not serve prison time.

Lampariello, though, will report in July to the Federal Bureau of Prisons to begin a 121-month term handed down Monday by a federal judge in Santa Ana.

The former executive, who now lives on Long Island, will likely serve his sentence at a federal prison in upstate New York.

He was also ordered to pay $39.9 million in restitution to about 700 people who invested in some bonds sold by Medical Capital.

The firm told clients they were investing in loans to hospitals and other companies in the medical industry. Some money from investors, though, went to finance a movie about a Mexican kids baseball team and to purchase a yacht called the Home Stretch.


A receiver has been selling Medical Capital’s assets and distributing money to investors since 2009. An attorney for the receiver said the last of the money owed to investors should be distributed in the near future, putting an end to the case.


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