Harkey-versary: Two years after judgment, criminal power couple has paid their victims NOTHING.





Last Wednesday, as Juice Friend and Harkey victim Kurt Sipolski reminds me, marked two years since the judgment against Dan Harkey (and his wife politician Diane Harkey) for defrauding dozens of elderly investors with a very complex Ponzi scheme that netted him over $100 million in fees, and his being ordered to pay them back $11.6 million.  17 months since we printed the magisterial “Harkey Files” here, and a year since we let you know Mr Harkey was doing what his sort of person does in such a situation – sue all his victims back for “malicious prosecution.”  (Unsuccessfully of course but it bought him more time and rattled their cages.)

And how much of that $11.6 million have the Harkeys paid, how much of the judgment have their victims (or as some of them prefer to be called, plaintiffs or “creditors”) seen?  As you may have intuited from the title of this piece, they’ve paid JACK.  Nothing.

harkey hubbyThe same evil-genius sociopathic brain that devised such a convoluted Ponzi scheme that hardly anyone can understand or explain it (certainly not me, although I’ll post documents for any of you whizz kids to peruse) has been working full time these two years at ways to avoid parting with a dime.  He’s created what plaintiff Jeff Gomberg calls a “giant corporate governance vacuum” in Point Center Financial’s successor agencies, where there is no legal manager but he still functions as de facto manager;  he’s also been busily selling off assets – up to $50 million worth, and nothing going to his victims – with complete impunity and no interest from our do-nothing DA.

sipolskiNot that all the victims plaintiffs have been idle or unresourceful:  they have reformed themselves as a collection company, “PCF Recovery LLC” (Point Center Financial was the name of Harkey’s now-bankrupt firm), and hired a collection attorney who’s been “working his ass off” prying asset after asset from the criminals, which goes into an escrow account, which will SOME DAY be distributed back to the plaintiffs.  Still, to polio victim Sipolski (left) who like many of the other plaintiffs was impoverished by the scheme and is living on $600 social security a month, even $1000 here and there would be “like manna from heaven.”

Hopefully Kurt will hang on a few more years and not die soon, like many of the plaintiffs (e.g. Gomberg’s parents) already have.  One thing his fellow plaintiffs have been able to seize recently is the five most valuable of the Harkey’s “exotic” luxury cars, which can probably be sold for about $200K (pictured below):

  • a 2002 Porsche 911 Turbo,
  • a 2005 Porsche 911 Carrera S,
  • a 2005 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti,
  • a 2004 Mercedes-Benz S155 Amg,
  • and a 2005 BMW R1200gs.

harkey seized luxury cars

Lead plaintiff and attorney Lloyd Charton further boasts that his team has also obtained liens against the shares of two of Harkey’s businesses including CalComm (his new lending company, which – MAJOR HAT TIP TO DEB PAULY – looks to be up to the same antics, having sent out the following earlier this year…)

harkey calcomm promise

And this would be on top of wife Diane’s garnished wages as assemblywoman last year – remember, in contrast to many of her truly conservative colleagues (and political opponents) she had accepted a raise bringing her wages up to $89,000 … and then had it garnished by the Best Controller Ever, John Chiang!  On that note, I have a treat for Orange Juice readers here:  Diane’s letter to Chiang begging to have her pay “suspended” till she could fight the garnishment (because she was “separated” from Dan and would someday get divorced), and the Chiang office’s letter back telling her to pound sand.  Speaking of…

The Stellar Political Career of the Harkey Wife.

harkey diane new

Nearly a year before the 2014 Board of Equalization election, I wrote:

…it is a sad and unjust world as things stand now, but it would be an even sadder and more unjust world, unnecessarily, if Mrs. Harkey receives another dime of taxpayer money.

Well, as we all know, Diane won that election in a landslide, in a low-turnout election year, and her wages have gone up to $125,288 plus benefits, as she makes tax decisions for you and me.  NOW we know even less about her than we did:  for one thing, are her wages still being garnished?  The office of the new controller, Betty Yee, won’t say.  (But how delicious would that be, for a member of a board that garnishes so many of us!

We don’t even know if she’s really gotten divorced, or if that was just talk to avoid garnishment.  It hardly matters, because as I wrote last year:

  • Diane began her career coming out of nowhere onto the Dana Point City Council in the late 90’s, funded by her husband’s ill-gotten gains.
  • Diane’s 700 forms have consistently shown $200,000 income from her husband’s Point Center investment firm, during a time when no other investors were receiving income.
  • Records show a pattern of Dan transferring money from his company into his personal account, and thence into Diane’s campaign coffers, including a $100,000 campaign debt.
  • Diane has never foregone a moment of luxury spent many years living in luxury off her husband’s swindled profits at Dana Point’s Ritz Cove [above right] while masquerading as a champion of the poor put-upon taxpayer.  (And also flying back and forth to Sacramento in their company helicopter while lying about it.)

Which brings us to…

The Harkey Hall of Shame.

Riverside County showed us last week what it looks like when a REAL DISTRICT ATTORNEY goes after a man guilty of a modest fraction of what the Harkeys did, as senior scammer John Paul Slawinski was sentenced to nine years in federal prison and ordered to pay $2.8 million in restitution to 13 victims – a piker compared to dirty Dan!  (Or maybe Slawinski just didn’t pay proper tribute to Riverside DA Mike Hestrin, I don’t know the lay of the land there.)

rackauckas 1Gomberg muses sardonically, “You would think that maybe, just MAYBE, the implosion of $350 to 500 million would capture the attention of your Rackauckas.”  But of course not.  We’ve established many times on this blog that T-Rack NEVER goes after powerful politicians, especially Republican ones (unless, of course, they masturbate for WAY too many years in front of their imprisoned female county underlings.)  And Tony reportedly has the pretext of conflict insomuch as he was on Diane’s campaign committee.

Well, at the very least, our now nationally notorious DA Tony Rackauckas gets the first and biggest shrine in the Harkey Hall of Shame, for allowing Dan to go unpunished so long AND actively helping his wife’s skyrocketing political career at the same time.

demon sheepBut there’s plenty other blame to go around.  How about, the voting and non-voting SHEEPLE of the OC and San Diego?  Mostly too indifferent to come out and vote.  When they do, mostly too indifferent and uninformed to cast a vote for Board of Equalization.  And when they do, carelessly picking the name with an R next to it, or the one on their handy slate mailer.  Too busy and indifferent to EVER read the Voice of OC, OC Weekly, or Orange Juice Blog and educate themselves.  Forever elevating and rewarding criminals and sociopaths.

Baughrbaro - the faces of two useless Parties (at the time)

Baughrbaro – the faces of two useless Parties (at the time)

How about the Republican Party of OC, for making Diane their darling.  And also the Democratic Party of OC, for failing to come up with an opponent more riveting than some Nader Shahatit, whose website “Elect Nader Shahatit” was still “under construction” as of three months before the election, and is now apparently in Cyrillic or some shit.

And how about Shahatit himself, as well as Diane’s bland Republican primary opponent Van Tran, both of whom prided themselves on being too “gentlemanly” to bring the Harkeys’ criminality into the campaign.  (And a frown of disappointment to Mark Wyland, who did bring it up and then left the race cuz he didn’t need the grief.)

And special places in that Hall of Shame to all the politicians who ENDORSED Diane Harkey in 2014 after knowing all this.  I can’t list them just yet, as DianeHarkey.com now seems to have, appropriately, a “harmful virus” on it, but it did include most elected OC Republicans, as well as the OC GOP and AtlasPac.

hall of shame

SO.  Hang in there, Kurt and the rest, don’t die and you’ll see some of your money back some day.  And those of you who wonder why we use the word “Kleptocracy” so much on the Orange Juice Blog, here is Exhibit Z-156.


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.