Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
OCDA SEEKS PUBLIC’S HELP IN IDENTIFYING POTENTIAL ADDITIONAL VICTIMS OF MAN CHARGED WITH DEFRAUDING INVESTORS IN FAKE
CLOTHING LINE SCHEME
SANTA ANA – The Orange County District Attorney is seeking the public’s help in identifying potential additional victims of a man charged with defrauding investors in a fake clothing line scheme. Shaine Joseph LaVoie, 41, Dana Point, was indicted on four felony counts of grand theft, two felony counts of theft from an elder, two felony counts of using an untrue statement in purchase or sale of a security, and one felony count of writing non-sufficient funds check. The defendant faces a maximum sentence of seven years and four months in state prison if convicted. He is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing May 6, 2011, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-40, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
In a separate case (Case # 06HF0973), LaVoie is charged with 11 felony counts of grand theft, 10 felony counts of misrepresentation in the offer or sale of a security, and one felony count of forgery. He is scheduled for a re-trial March 7, 2011, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-40.
Circumstances of Case # 11ZF0100
In 2007, LaVoie is accused of approaching two separate victims and convincing them to invest in a fake, non-existent clothing line called Agnus with the promise of high returns. La Voie is accused of stealing $10,000 from William H. and $4,200 from Brandon W. and never paying the victims back for their “investment.” He is also accused of writing a bad check from a closed account for $15,000 to Brandon W.
Circumstances of Case # 06HF0973
In 1992, the defendant co-founded Ezekial, a skateboarding clothing company. He left the company in 2003. Between February and October 2004, LaVoie is accused of approaching his friends and acquaintances to invest in a new business. He is accused of convincing them to invest in a fraudulent $1 million scheme that he claimed involved a large shipment of designer jeans being sold to a Japanese buyer. La Voie is accused of claiming the deal would close in under three months with up to a 100 percent profit.
When investors began to contact LaVoie for payment on their investments, the defendant is accused of lying that the shipment had been delayed due to customs problems. He is accused of creating a Ponzi scheme to pay back early investors with new investor’s money. A “Ponzi” scheme is when investors are offered high, short-term returns on investments, but instead of the investments generating actual income and legitimate profits, the money from the investors is kept for the benefit of the defendant or used to repay earlier investors.
LaVoie is accused of eventually cutting off all contact and failing to return calls from his 12 victims. He is accused of failing to pay back over $800,000 in stolen “investments.” He is accused of spending the stolen money on rent, expensive gifts, and luxury items for him and his girlfriend.