By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
By Charles Lam
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If you think Orange County’s greatest corporate sin is somewhere in the housing market, consider the case of Irvine-based tech firm Broadcom. The hugely profitable microchip company revealed in 2007 that $2.24 billion of its earnings came from book-cookin’. And while CEO Henry Nicholas messed with his company’s bottom line, he was also allegedly doing lines off the nether regions of hookers. When the feds indicted him in 2008, he was in the process of building a sex cave under his Laguna Hills home—lovingly reproduced here for maximum hedonism! This one’s not for the kids. ($)
Mighty Fucked Rink
Strap on your skates and get your family into a flying-V formation: It’s time to take slapshots at Broadcom co-founder/criminal/Anaheim Ducks owner Henry Samueli! He lied to the Securites and Exchange Commission (SEC) about Broadcom’s fudged stock value; as part of his settlement with the government, he has agreed to play Goldberg and take one knucklepuck to the gut for every dollar he tried to swindle. That’s gotta hurt! (&)
Vrooooom! That’s the sound of the American dream gone bankrupt. Daniel Sadek emigrated to America from Lebanon as a child, quit school after the third grade and ended up a Fletcher Jones Motorcars salesman. Then he started up QuickLoan, a subprime-lending company seeded with money he made on Vegas blackjack tables. He accumulated a fleet of sports cars and bankrolled his own awful The Fast and the Furious rip-off, Redline. And now he’s broke, sued and under investigation for issuing dirty loans. You can drive his cars, though! ($)(&)
The St. Egregious
Less than a week after receiving an $85 billion bailout from the U.S. Government in late 2008, AIG employees were wining and dining up a $443,344 tab at Dana Point’s St. Regis Monarch Beach resort. All the best features of the palatial hotel have been imported here. Nude cherub statues, cucumber sandwiches and eager-to-please masseuses provide an opportunity for visitors to take a load off, funded by their own tax dollars. ($)(OC)
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The Mausoleum of Freedom
Orange County is nothing if not principled. To memorialize their dead ideas, the county’s most righteous champions of laissez-faire get-what’s-mine-ism stand as animatronic guardians in the Mausoleum of Freedom. Among the patriots are . . .
Chris Cox, ex-Newport congressman and chairman of the SEC during its period of benign neglect toward Bernie Madoff, risky mortgage securitizaton and predatory lenders.
R.C. Hoiles, the libertarian visionary who founded The Orange County Register and exemplifies OC's ideological core. He once said he preferred whorehouses to public schools.
Charles Keating, the man who caused the great financial crisis before this one: The Savings and Loans debacle of the late 1980s. His Newport-based Lincoln Savings group was the proto-AIG, pushing the economy to near-collapse and triggering massive government bailouts.
Robert Citron, the Orange County treasurer who caused the county to go bankrupt in 1994. He was vilified at the time, but his sin is an Orange County virtue: betting the house—or the municipality—with the same prudence as you would a $10 bill you found on the street.
And while scoping out OC’s champions of liberty, don’t forget to ride . . .
The Invisible Hand
The free market is a rational creature, whose ups and downs can’t always be understood by mere mortals—but should always be feared by them. This roller coaster has been constructed to simulate the turbulent, righteous forces of unregulated capitalism. Caveat emptor to all who ride: Did you honestly expect this thing to come with seat belts? What are you, some kind of socialist? (OC)