Real estate financier J. William Oldenburg and three former officers of a Utah-based savings and loan were indicted Friday, accused of conspiring to defraud the thrift of $26.5 million in 1984.
The federal grand jury indictment names Oldenburg, 50, former chairman and owner of State Savings and Loan Association in Salt Lake City, as well as former thrift officers James Rossetti, 52; Nicholas L. Muccino, 59, and Martin L. Mandel, 44.The Utah thrift was purchased by Oldenburg for $10.5 million but collapsed in 1985 and he was sued by federal regulators.
The thrift was taken over by New Mexico-based Sandia Federal Savings and Loan.
The indictment charges the men conspired to misapply $26.5 million in State's funds, and defrauded and lied to credit institutions in creating a real estate deal in which State Savings would buy a 363-acre development in Richmond, Calif., known as Park Glen Estates.
The deal was allegedly to have State Savings, owned by Oldenburg, buy the Glen Park development from Oldenburg's solely-owned Empire State West Inc., a Washington state corporation, by running the money through International Mortgage Services Inc., another Oldenburg enterprise in California.
The indictment alleges the appraisals of the Park Glen project were highly inflated.
Rossetti, a senior vice president of IMI and former president of State Savings between 1983 and 1984, was named in the alleged conspiracy along with Muccino, former senior vice president of IMI and board member for State Savings & Loan; and Mandel, IMI senior vice president and corporate counsel between 1983 and 1984.
Mandel was also on the board of State Savings.
The Utah thrift also had offices in Hawaii.
If convicted on all counts, Oldenburg faces 42 years in prison and $44,000 in fines. The other three each face 40 years in prison, according to U.S. Attorney Joseph Russoniello.
All four men are scheduled to surrender to a federal magistrate Feb. 10.
Oldenburg, who has described himself as a self-made billionaire, owned the now-defunct LA Express of the US Football League.
He bought the Utah savings and loan in October 1983 but stepped down as chairman less than a year later, in June 1984.
Nine days after he took control of the institution, his brokerage firms were paid $17.6 million in procurement fees for six highly-speculative development projects, according to the suit by federal regulators in Utah.