A financier and two former associates have been ordered to pay $22 million for a fraudulent real estate deal that banking regulators said led to the collapse of State Savings Association.
J. William Oldenburg, former owner of the defunct L.A. Express football team, was also ordered to pay $13.7 million lost from loans the defendant arranged for companies he owned soon after acquiring State Savings.Just nine days after Oldenburg took control of the Salt Lake City-based State Savings in October 1983, loan commitments covering four high-risk projects were issued and Oldenburg and companies he owned or controlled were paid more than $14 million in loan procurement fees.
Losses from those loans and Oldenburg's negligence in the deals totaled $13.7 million, U.S. District Judge David K. Winder said in a ruling Tuesday.
In addition to the fraudulent loans, other State Savings money went to pay off about $16 million in debts owed by Oldenburg, his business associates or firms he controlled, Winder said.
Winder said Oldenburg; attorney Martin Mandel, who also was on State Savings' board of directors; and board member Charles Burgardt committed fraud in the 1984 purchase of a 363-acre real estate tract in Richmond, Calif., for $26.5 million, when the fair market value of the property was about $4.1 million. Mandel and Burgardt, along with Oldenburg, were ordered to pay the $22 million difference.
The transaction involving the parcel, owned by another Oldenburg firm, Investment Mortgage International, was designed to alleviate cash flow problems and a number of "extravagances."
Oldenburg paid out $8.5 million from IMI's operating accounts to move its offices to San Francisco in September and October 1983.
Other large expenses depleting IMI's cash reserves were Oldenburg's acquisition of more than 99 percent of State Savings' common stock from American General Corp. for $10.5 million, and his purchase of the Los Angeles football franchise in December 1983 for $4.9 million.
Winder said that substantial bonuses were paid to IMI executives and a $2 million bonus commitment was made for a football player.
Winder also ruled that American Casualty Insurance Co. of Reading, Pa., must pay $6 million on insurance policies protecting State Savings against employee dishonesty or fraud.
Utah and federal banking regulators declared State Savings insolvent in June 1984 because of what they called "self-dealing and mismanagement."
A criminal trial against Oldenburg and Mandel is scheduled for April 1 in San Francisco.