Eddie Allen, RIP-off

A Newport Beach con man dies. We think

"The worst day of my life was the day I met Eddie Allen." (William Thrash, a retired four-star Marine Corps general who financed the sale of his Newport Harbor-view home to the Allens in 1993.)

"I told the judge that Allen was a lying son of a bitch who has no conscience. He should be court-martialed." (Air Force Brigadier General Harry C. Aderholt, a CIA agent and fighter pilot who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, after testifying that Allen's claims of being a war hero in Southeast Asia were false.)

"I guess I shouldn't expect to see my money ever again, should I?" (Dr. Ted Dalton, former president of Newport University and former landlord of Eddie Allen, speaking in 2001 about unpaid rent of $14,000 and a never-repaid loan of $15,000.)

"Eddie's just a pathetic guy who is not satisfied with himself, so he invented a war record to steal money from elderly people. It's all I can do to keep my hands off his neck." (Ed Dearborn, a decorated Korean War Marine who became a celebrated covert-operations pilot during the war in Southeast Asia.)

"It's a wonder lightning doesn't strike Eddie and Jo Ellen." (Sheryl Phelps, an Irvine High School teacher who along with her husband invested their life savings of $60,000 with Eddie Allen and lost it all.)

"Of all the people I've nailed, Allen has to be the biggest pathological liar I've ever seen. He is a master of taking nothing and making it look like something. He also has the innate ability not to flinch when he's caught in a lie. I watched him stare at legendary covert-operation generals who testified against him as if they were leaves in the wind, and he acted as if they didn't understand what an important hero he is. The guy is unbelievable." (B.G. "Jug" Burkett, decorated Army first lieutenant and Vietnam combat veteran and expert on people who impersonate Vietnam veterans for personal advantage. Network shows such as ABC's20/20 have featured Burkett's investigations. In 1998, he co-authoredStolen Valor: How the Vietnam Generation Was Robbed of Its Heroes and Its History.)

"I have asked you to help us in the name of friendship and the fact that we came through for you when you needed us, but your responses have been cavalier, cool, evasive and vague. . . . I am disappointed, disgusted and disturbed over our business experience and contact with you." (Lee Pickett of Port Ludlow, Washington, who was 79 when she wrote that letter to Allen in 1999—just before she and her disabled husband, John, had to file bankruptcy to save their home after loaning Allen $553,000 in 1996. The Picketts never saw their money again. "What Eddie did to us is so despicable," Pickett told the Weekly in 2001. "We are the victims. He has to be stopped from doing this to anyone else.")

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