The California Court of Appeal has affirmed a multi-million-dollar Ponzi scheme judgment against the husband of Orange County Republican congressional candidate Diane Harkey, who is hoping to defeat her Democratic Party opponent, Mike Levin, in November’s general election.
Dan Harkey had urged the appellate panel to overturn the jury’s findings that he breached his fiduciary duties, committed financial elder abuse and flagrantly violated agreements with numerous investors who’d believed his fraudulent claims.
In a 25-page, July 30 ruling, justices Richard Aronson, Eileen Moore and Richard Fybel rejected Harkey’s appeal, declaring that “substantial evidence supports the jury’s and the trial court’s conclusions that he repeatedly made “illusory” statements to pitched investors.
Harkey’s wife, an ex-Dana Point mayor hoping to replace retiring Rep. Darrell Issa in Congress, is not directly implicated in the scam but is campaigning on the assertion that she aims to protect average Americans from abuse, confront corruption and advance policies erasing government regulations on business.
Levin, a 39-year-old San Juan Capistrano residence who this week won the endorsement of former President Barack Obama, is advocating an anti-Donald Trump agenda that includes accelerating sustainable energy policies, increasing public disclosure of politicians’ behind the scenes maneuverings, boosting education spending, advancing women’s rights and improving healthcare.
In the appellate case, Harkey made “flawed” arguments about his innocence that made “little sense,” according to the state justices.
The justices determined that Orange County Superior Court judge Steven L. Perk “reasonably” found that Harkey “breached [his] companies’ operating agreements and breached their respective duties of good faith in full disclosure to the plaintiffs. . . Harkey looted the plaintiffs’ investment funds by running a Ponzi scheme to amass fees in their own interest on loans with only a pretense of underwriting and sham rollover loans violating operating agreements.”
Issa, the wealthiest member of Congress, backed out of a re-election campaign after concluding he would lose.
He backs Harkey, a onetime member of the California State Assembly, as his replacement.
District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, who hopes to defeat challenger Todd Spitzer in November, shares Harkey’s party affiliation and is known to favor political allies in his prosecutorial decisions, did not filed criminal charges pertaining to the court-confirmed Ponzi scheme.
Breitbart News, a conservative outlet, recently reported that Harkey enjoys a slight edge over Levin in a historically Republican area.
But Democrats believe they can take control of the seat.
In the 2016 presidential race, Hillary Clinton grabbed a seven-point triumph over Donald Trump in the district.
R. Scott Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; and hailed by two New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing Southern California law enforcement corruption.