Kenneth A. Powell, 6/18/53, a former resident of Thousand Oaks, California, Katie Rose, 7/25/49, Woodland Hills, California; and Paul Charles Lascola, Thousand Oaks, have been charged in a 49-count felony complaint.
The criminal complaint filed alleges felony crimes that occurred from 2005 to 2008. The complaint includes felony counts of grand theft, theft from an elder, and special enhancements for taking money or property in excess of $50,000. Powell is charged with 42 distinct felonies, Rose is charged with 29 felonies, and Lascola is charged with 24 felonies. All three defendants are also charged with an enhancement for aggravated white-collar crime, which alleges taking money or property in excess of $500,000 in a pattern of felony conduct involving fraud or embezzlement. The total amount of theft-related loss to victims caused by the alleged conduct of the three defendants currently exceeds $3 million.
Numerous complaints were filed against the defendants arising out of their marketing and sale of various investments purportedly secured by real estate in the state of Arizona and the California cities of Taft, Goleta, Canyon Country, Ventura, and Thousand Oaks . Defendants Powell and Rose made contact with many of the alleged victims as “Ken & Katie,” the hosts of a locally aired weekend radio program called “Academy of Real Estate” and “Money Intelligence” that previously aired on News Talk KVTA 1520 AM.
Both Rose and Lascola hold real estate sales licenses issued by the California Department of Real Estate. Powell‘s real estate sales license was suspended in 2006. Powell and Rose primarily conducted business under the name Captech Advisors, LLC. Lascola conducted business under the names of Shea Estates Development, Inc. and Conejo Partners, LLC. A significant number of alleged victims were led to believe by Powell and Rose that their monies would be utilized by Lascola to develop and construct new homes on vacant lots in Taft, California.
In fact, virtually no construction took place on those lots and many lots were already encumbered with prior liens or had been sold to previous investors. Powell, Rose, and Lascola are also alleged to have solicited victims to make several loans to borrowers that were purportedly secured by real estate trust deeds. These alleged victims parted with substantial monies in reliance on the statements and actions by all three defendants. All alleged victims have lost substantially all of their investments. Financial analysis of bank records from accounts belonging to the defendants revealed instances of new investors’ monies being paid to former investors in the form of interest or partial repayment of debts owed on previous notes.
District Attorney Gregory D. Totten made the announcement that the Real Estate Fraud Prosecution Unit filed the 49-count felony complaint against the defendants.
The investigation was conducted in partnership with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Bureau and the Ventura Police Department.
Powell, Rose and Lascola were all arrested in an operation conducted by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Bureau. Bail was set at $1 million for each defendant by Ventura County Superior Court Judge Patricia Murphy. Judge Murphy also signed an order requested by the District Attorney’s Office which requires each defendant to show the court proof of the source of any funds offered towards bail.