A man from Dubai is suing three men --including a San Clemente attorney--for allegedly stealing $600,000 through an investment scam involving gold and other precious materials.
The Orange County Superior Court complaint reportedly alleges one defendant was part of a $6 million fraud case.
Matt Reynolds gets the scoop for Courthouse News Service. Dubai's Mazen Luqman is reportedly suing attorney Rex Lowe of San Clemente, Timothy Gates of Homeland and Stephen Slaughter, the CEO of Universal Venture Holdings, a Pretoria, South Africa, firm that is the fourth defendant.
Luqman, who is seeking damages for fraud and negligence, claims he deposited $600,000 into a New York bank account that Lowe allegedly controlled for the stated purpose of investing in diamond, gold, coal, copper and silver commodities that were managed by Universal Venture.
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The suit accuses Gates of claiming he owned a gold mine in Uganda when he was actually in "financial ruin." Gates, Lowe and Slaughter allegedly defrauded willing investors of their money through their "sham" company and then hid the ill-gotten funds, according to the complaint.
As Reynolds reports, Luqman points to similarities between the Universal Venture Holdings fraud and a previous one surrounding Total Access Payments that led to a federal case that starred Gates as a defendant. A federal judge in Los Angeles late last year dismissed the case after the two sides settled for more than $6 million.
But "[t]o date, collection efforts have been fruitless against Gates," according to Luqman.