Newport Beach couple plead not guilty to stealing $5.9 million in real estate fraud scheme
A Newport Beach couple pleaded not guilty Thursday to felony charges stemming from allegations that they stole more than $5.9 million in a real estate fraud scheme and laundered the money to buy a luxury car and invest in a winery.
Ronald Cedric Touchard, 59, faces 54 counts of money laundering, three counts of grand theft and three counts of recording a false or forged instrument, as well as several possible sentencing enhancements, according to Orange County Superior Court records.
Misty Denise Touchard, 43, faces 13 counts of money laundering and three counts of grand theft, as well as possible sentencing enhancements, court records show.
If convicted, Ronald Touchard could face a maximum of 55 years and four months in state prison and Misty Touchard could face 24 years and eight months, according to prosecutors.
Newport Beach police arrested the couple in May. Misty Touchard posted $400,000 bail on June 6 and Ronald Touchard posted $1 million bail on June 13.
Superior Court Judge Gregory Jones on Thursday ordered Ronald Touchard to turn over his passport, according to court records.
Prosecutors allege Ronald Touchard took over the titles of three Newport Beach residences that he did not own between June and July 2016 by submitting paperwork to Delaware indicating he was the sole officer of Capital Win Corp. and Gainquick LLC, investment companies based in Laguna Beach.
Ronald Touchard convinced “hard money” lenders that, as president of Capital Win and Gainquick, he held the deed of trust for each residence and pulled $5.9 million in equity out of the properties, prosecutors allege.
Prosecutors said the couple used the funds to make several large purchases and moved the money among various bank accounts “in a pattern consistent with money laundering.”
The Touchards are expected in court for a pretrial hearing Oct. 11.
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