Lights & Sirens

Go behind the yellow tape with The News Tribune

NOTICE: Lights & Sirens has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Lights & Sirens.
Visit the new section.

2 Pierce County men indicted for fraud in New York

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on Jan. 26, 2011 at 11:35 am with 2 Comments »
January 26, 2011 11:35 am

Two Pierce County businessmen have been indicted in federal court in New York with conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud, the U.S. Attorney’s Office reported today.

William C. Lange, 63, and Joseph G. Pascua, 49, will make an initial appearance this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, according to a news release.

The men are accused of defrauding more than $9 million from hundreds of people using two schemes, the news release states.

The first promised developers financing to build homes in areas hit by Hurricane Katrina. Potential investors were required to pay a 10-percent fee in order to access the financing, federal prosecutors contend.

“Lange and Pascua did not have the money to finance the loans but nonetheless kept the 10-percent fee,” the news release states.

The second scheme involved tricking people into investing in an Alaskan mining operation, the profitability of which they lied about, federal prosecutors contend.

“The defendants in this case are charged with executing two bold schemes to defraud their clients and investors of millions of dollars,” Loretta E. Lynch, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in the press release.

Lange is president of Harbor Funding Group Inc. of Gig Harbor. Pascua is president of Black Sand Mine Inc. of Lake Tapps.

Leave a comment Comments → 2
  1. moosehunter says:

    Way before this particular case came to light, Lange had been running all kinds of scams in Alaska, before moving and continuing to scam from his office in Gig Harbor, Washington. Lange left Alaska owing on multiple judgments, including one mega case involving Denali Credit Union. He’d scammed Alaskan credit unions, private investors, and everyday average citizens out of tens of thousands of dollars. (All this while a distinguished member of a quite oblivious Rotary, no less.)

    Unfettered, he set up shop in Washington state, promptly joined the local Rotary, declared bankruptcy, and proceeded to bilk people for amounts from $1500-$2500, $50,000, to millions, in everything from real estate investor scams, to credit repair and lease-to-own properties. Ads in local and regional newspapers catered to the credit challenged, private for-sale-by-owners, new home buyers, and those facing foreclosure.

    Enlisting representatives in real estate offices and private realtors across the United States, Lange was able to expand his own sort of multi level marketing scheme, by promising financing and homes to the leads these offices provided. Ultimately, this raked in fast cash, and left the people who paid for services without any benefit; they lost their money, their homes, and the last cash they may have had on hand, while Lange and his immediate family treated those payments like their own petty cash fund. Checks and tangible assets were often put in various family members’ names to protect Lange’s judgment creditors from collecting on their debts.

    In Washington state alone, agencies like the Attorney General’s office, the Department of Financial Institutions, the Insurance Commissioner, real estate boards, and even the Governor were flooded with not dozens, but hundreds of complaints. Frustrated consumers even contacted the FBI, but the story was usually the same: “Gee, we’d like to help, but you know we have very difficult jobs and this is c-o-m-p-l-i-c-a-t-e-d. Did we mention how hard our jobs are?” This type of apathy and inaction allowed Lange to continue, year after year, without fear of repercussion, save for the occasional civil judgment for those who could afford attorneys.

    It wasn’t until a combination of overconfidence and sheer stupidity, and perhaps a perfect alignment of planets, Lange finally overstepped his bounds with the latest mining and Katrina financing scam, which drew the attention of the Department of Justice. This case alone represents more than 300 people, which actually pales in the amount of separate unrelated scams.

    Lange’s numerous legal cases are public information. There are many boards and forums online that document his different scams. Lange’s name can be found in dozens of archived case files in Alaska, from as far back as the 1980s.

    Lange is no new kid on the block when it comes to scams. Convincing people to invest in a gold mine was simply the latest idea to come to mind.

  2. drugfree says:

    the legal aspect of this scam is he is inisent tell proven guilty.and now he will scam his way out of jail by useing the our worthless court system just as he has done in the past…

*
We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0