(Orange, Texas)

State News

March 21, 2013

Claims reach $31 million in scheme tied to coaches



Olson filed a lawsuit in September 2011 seeking to recover $1 million he lost in the bogus bond scheme, but the suit was later dismissed.

Olson's attorney, Michael Aguirre of San Diego , said Wednesday he believes victims of Salinas' scheme will receive only a "very small percentage" of what they invested, in large measure because Harr has initiated a "very modest agenda" in his search for assets.

"First, they were victimized by the investment and now they're being victimized by the receiver," Aguirre said.

Harr said Aguirre's criticism is misguided because it isn't based on actual knowledge of the receiver's work.

"He doesn't know what I'm doing, and it's not in my best interests to tell the world what I'm doing, because this is an investigation," Harr said.

A Salinas associate, Brian Bjork, pleaded guilty last month to a single count of wire fraud stemming from a separate scheme that stole $1.4 million from nine investors. The largest investor was the nonprofit organization that raises money for athletic scholarships at the University of Houston.

Bjork, 43, is a defendant in the SEC's suit, but his plea agreement describes the $1.4 million fraud as "a scam within a scam" and says the government has yet to find that he profited directly from Salinas' alleged Ponzi scheme.

Bjork, who also was heavily involved in Salinas' basketball program, is due to be sentenced June 14.

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