The Utah attorney general's office will continue its investigation into C. Dean Larsen, former president of Granada Inc., and may file further charges against the bankrupt real estate developer, attorneys say.
Larsen, 186 Dorchester Lane, was charged with 50 felony counts Wednesday, including unlawful dealing with property by a fiduciary, sale or offer of unregistered security, theft and securities fraud in excess of $1.9 million."It is clearly one of the largest cases that we've filed," said Paul M. Warner, associate deputy attorney general.
The state tried to file a representative class of charges, Warner said. But it does not claim to have filed the full range of charges against Larsen. Other types of charges may yet be filed, Warner said.
Larsen's attorney said his client is innocent and that the allegations by the attorney general's office are inaccurate, unjust and unfair. He said he regrets that his client's investment problems have been taken into the criminal arena because it will inhibit his ability to get the money back.
The charges were filed in 3rd Circuit Court.
Larsen, an attorney, served as president of Granada, a real estate investment and development firm controlled by Larsen and his family. Granada was the general partner and/or property manager for more than 100 real estate limited partnerships, Warner said. Before filing bankruptcy in February 1987, Granada had raised more than $94 million from investors.
Wednesday's charges stem from Larsen's dealings in three of the 100 partnerships: Majestic Oaks, EFF Fund Ltd. and Three Crowns.
Larsen is charged with five counts of theft. Three of the counts stem from the state's claim that Larsen committed theft when he cashed hecks made out to investors in Majestic Oaks and used the money for Granada instead of distriuting itto the investors, Warner said.
One of the counts stems from Larsen's sale of Three Cronw, a mobile park in Las Vegas owned by a limited partnership. Granada was the general partner in the partnership.
The state claims Larsen converted to his own use $868,000 belonging to partners of Three Crowns. Larsen sold the mobile home park in October 1986, for $1.3 million, Warner said. The state alleges that partners were entitled to $868,000 of the sale proceeds.
"Larsen, however, used the entire proceeds of the sale for ongoing business expenses of Granada and did not distribute the proceeds to investors," Warner said.
The fifth count of theft alleges that Larsen took money from an investor for use in a specified real estate project but did not invest the money in the designated project. "Instead, he put the money to his own uses, some of it going to pay the general operating expenses of Granada," Warner said.
Larsen is charged with 24 counts of securities fraud arising from his sale oflimited partnership interests in EFF Fund Ltd. EFF was organized in 1984 to lendinvestors' money to Granada's real estate projects, Warner said. The state claims that Larsen, in his operation of EFF, "communicated matters to investors that were false and/or misleading," Warner said. Such misrepresentation constitutes securities fraud.
The 18 counts of "sale or offer of unregistered securities" stem from Larsen's failure to register interests in EFF with the Utah Securities Division as required by law.
"The case is the largest of a series of white collar criminal cases recently prosecuted by the attorney general's office with the aid of a federal grant obtained by the office for the prosecution of criminal offense involving securities fraud," Warner said.
He won't speculate on how many charges may ultimately be filed against Larsen. "You reach a point of diminishing returns to keep filing charges."
Nearly $48 million in claims have been filed by investors and creditors against the bankrupt Granada. Additionally, $18 million in claims have been filed against Larsen personally.
Granada's investors fall into two general classes: those who bought limited partnerships in the company, mostly doctors and dentists; and those who invested in real estate projects, primarily pension plans and retirement funds for doctor's offices and medical clinics.
Creditors will get back little, if any, of the money they lost, said Peter Billings Jr., court appointed trustee for the bankrupt company.