End of 2011 Year Up-date
These were originally questions from investors brought to Leasing News concerning American Express Leasing contracts.
Leasing News reported HL Leasing President Dan Ramirez and Chief Financial Officer Andy Fernandez were found guilty in a trial before a jury in Fresno, where they were ordered to pay $46.5 million to 1,200 victims.
Kathleen Otto, the late John Otto's wife, even though accounting was done at their home, was not found guilty by the jury, as reportedly they did not find evidence that her actions caused any financial harm to the victims.
However Ara Jabagchourian, principal, Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP, Burlingame, California believes she could be held liable under the theory she was a shareholder of the three companies Otto had founded that reportedly defrauded the victims.
After winning the case against the president and CFO, Jabagchourian filed a brief basically to try and tie either Kathleen Otto as an individual or as the trustee for the family trust into the case, which the judge is considering and will make a ruling. He then will seek assets available.
In the meantime, many of the victims have not been able to file for loses as they claim it has not been determined a Ponzi scheme, although others on the blog say they have filed losses, one stated: and received "... over a 550K lost I received approximately $123K back from the IRS. It did take them a long time to finally send a check but I did get it with no further documents required."
There are those who lost their house, their retirement, and have gone back to work, moved in with their children, and others whose lives have been changed as dramatically due to the money they invested and appear will never see again.
This story began May 11, 2009