MYTH-SHATTERING CASE: Local Prosecutors Extradite Ronald Paul Shade From Thailand To Face Real-Estate Ponzi Charges; Shade Also Accused Of ‘Financial Elder Abuse’

Ronald Paul Shade: Source: Interpol

EDITOR’S NOTE: The PP Blog has covered a number of stories in which U.S. residents living overseas were extradited to the United States to face Ponzi charges. The case against Ronald Paul Shade is another one — and it’s one that demonstrates that an extradition can occur even if a defendant is not charged with a federal offense.

Indeed, the warrant for Shade’s arrest was issued by a state-level Superior Court judge in California, according to Interpol. Shade’s case is instructive because it defeats some of the myths propagated on Ponzi boards such as MoneyMakerGroup, ASAMonitor, TalkGold and MyCashForums. Among the myths is that “offshore” equals “safe” for both investors and Ponzi perpetrators.

Don’t tell that to Shade, now jailed in California after being extradited from Bangkok by local — as opposed to federal — prosecutors in California. His bail was set at $3.9 million.

And don’t tell it to Jeffrey Lane Mowen, extradited from Panama to face federal Ponzi charges in Utah and later indicted in an alleged murder-for-hire plot. Here’s a quick side note on the Mowen case: If you like the recruitment fees paid by HYIP, autosurf and corrupt MLM or commission-based investment programs and make claims about the “due diligence” you’ve performed and try to impress prospects with your insider knowledge, your willful blindness may put you at great risk.

Mowen had three prior convictions in Utah for securities fraud and two for theft, according to records. Despite Mowen’s criminal record and history as a fraudster, promoters still did business with him. Their faith drained millions of dollars from investors, the SEC said. Using language apt to cause unease in the Ponzi-promoting world, the SEC said at least one promoter “either knew or was reckless in not knowing that Mowen had multiple recent felony convictions involving crimes of dishonesty.”

Indeed, the SEC said, the promoter learned in approximately late June 2007 that Mowen had been convicted of securities fraud . . . [but] “continued to solicit new investor funds for several months while failing to disclose Mowen’s criminal history to any of the Promoters or their investors.” Downstream promoters who entrusted the promoter “conducted virtually no due diligence in connection with [his] purported investment opportunities, but transferred investor money to [him] without any documentation or limitation on his use of the funds,” the SEC said.

Perhaps the biggest myth exposed by the Ronald Paul Shade case is that going offshore takes state attorneys general and local prosecutors totally out of play. Longtime PP Blog readers will remember that the “offshore” pitch was pivotal in promotions for AdViewGlobal, AdGateWorld, MegaLido and other autosurfs that surfaced in the aftermath of the seizure of tens of millions of dollars by the U.S. Secret Service in the AdSurfDaily Ponzi scheme case. Some ads claimed that the “offshore” surfs neutralized state-level investigators.

Shade, however, was brought back to the United States at the request of the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office in California to face state charges filed by local investigators.

Still promoting investment-fraud schemes on the Ponzi boards and supplementing your pitches with myths about “safety” and how the overseas schemes are insulated from prosecution? Perhaps this story on the dramatic extradition of Colombian national David Murcia to the United States will help you snap out of your delusion that Ponzi and pyramid businesses cause no harm and represent “freedom” of choice. Perhaps this story on Robert Hodgins, who goes to bed at night knowing he’s wanted by Interpol, will help you shape your thinking.

The cases of John and Marian Morgan, U.S. residents extradited from Sri Lanka, also are instructive.

Finally, it’s worth noting that, after the United States charged Canadian national Nicholas Smirnow in May with operating an HYIP Ponzi scheme, a MyCashForums poster was quick to claim that “the USA has no extridition (sic) agreement ion (sic) place with the Phillipines (sic) . . . “

The claim was false. Federal prosecutors said they are seeking Smirnow’s extradition. He was accused of operating a $70 million, international fraud known as Pathway to Prosperity (P2P).

Here, now, the story of Ronald Paul Shade’s extradition . . .

A California man living in Thailand was extradited to the United States to face charges he ripped off senior citizens in a real-estate Ponzi scheme, authorities said.

Ronald Paul Shade, 39, formerly of Riverside, was arrested by local detectives Friday at Los Angeles International Airport. He was charged by investigators from the San Bernardino District Attorney’s Office with 29 felonies, including financial elder abuse, filing forged documents with the County Recorder’s Office and grand theft.

San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael A. Ramos, who also is the president of the California District Attorneys’ Association, led the probe.

Among the detectives involved in the Shade probe was Michael Leibrich, a senior investigator with the DA’s office.

“From 2006 to 2008, Shade solicited money from numerous investors for his company, Orange Crest Realty,” investigators said. “Investors were promised a high rate of return for a short-term investment. Elderly victims later discovered that their life’s savings were being used to further a Ponzi scheme.”

Shade had been living in Thailand for about two years, investigators said.

In 2008, the California Department of Corporations issued a “desist and refrain” order against Shade and his company after alleging that they were selling unregistered securities and recruiting prospects  by urging them to “Get 18% APR Today” through the company’s “wonderful” investment.

Shade and the company used a now-defunct website known as to pitch the purported program, authorities said.

Among the misleading claims made to investors, according to authorities, were these:

  • That Orange Crest Realty was founded in 1993. (Authorities said Orange Crest Realty was not incorporated until June 2004.)
  • That Orange Crest Realty is a “registered investment advisor.” (Authorities said neither Shade nor the company and its associates were registered.)
  • That each investment was secured by actual title to specific existing real property. (Authorities said that “each investment was not secured by real property.”)
  • That a Deed of Trust And Assignment of Rents in the Property would be recorded with the Office of the County Assessor/Recorder and the investor would be provided with the recorded deed.  (Authorities said a deed promised an investor who sent in $50,000 was not recorded and the “investor never received a recorded deed.”)
  • That the investor would receive regular monthly interest payments. (Authorities said “payments ceased shortly after the investment was purchased.”)

San Bernardino County investigators were assisted in the extradition by the Southwest Regional Fugitive Taskforce of the U.S. Marshals Service.

The scheme, which allegedly gathered $14 million, also fleeced investors who responded to newspaper ads, investigators said.

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3 Responses to “MYTH-SHATTERING CASE: Local Prosecutors Extradite Ronald Paul Shade From Thailand To Face Real-Estate Ponzi Charges; Shade Also Accused Of ‘Financial Elder Abuse’”

  1. This guy is the devil.. I have been waiting for this moment for a long time. I was scammed by him in many ways. He has no soul..and no heart.

  2. On Friday October 29,2010 Ronald P Shade was brought into dept 23 of the San Bernadino County courthouse dressed in an orange jumpsuit. He shuffled in with the quick, short steps. His wrists and ankles were bound by chains. His shaven face and receeding hairline revealed drooping and wrinkled skin. District Attorney Vance Welch, his office and team of investigators sucessfully brought Shade to justice earlier this year. He now faces sentencing on Novermber 8 in the same courthouse. Mr Welch made a last minute motion to delay a directed verdict from JUDGE MICHAEL M DEST. The DA believes victims in the case should be present while the verdict is read. Victims from all over should attend, as this may be your best opportunity for satisfaction. Shade claims there is no money left for restitution.

  3. Elder abuse as practiced by criminals is a rampant problem that is relatively widely reported. Then there’s the quiet epidemic of legalized financial elder abuse practiced by large insurance companies and their predatory sales agents. They sell unsuitable annuities to the elderly, effectively locking up their life savings, in order to get a sales commission.

    These huge conglomerates use loopholes and dubious practices to sell unsuitable investments to those who are experiencing the onset of old age. Many of these seniors have declining mental faculties, alzheimers and an inability to think and reason like they used to.

    There are few laws that prohibit a senior from signing an annuity contract that is unsuitable for them. Or from signing a contract that is vague and doesn’t define the specifics of commuted value, the agent’s commission, return on investment or tax implications. Neither does the law does not require the agent to give full disclosure about the annuity.

    According to The California Department Of Insurance, many elderly individuals have been taken advantage of by insurance agents who have manipulated them into purchasing an unsuitable annuity or replacing existing or established annuities with a new one simply for the agent’s financial gain.