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Palo Alto man faces 20 years for fraud

Original post made on Dec 8, 2011

A Palo Alto man pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court for a real estate investment scheme and could face 20 years in prison.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, December 8, 2011, 9:50 AM

Comments (31)

Posted by Enough!, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Dec 8, 2011 at 10:56 am

Huh. Interesting. Same name as a former PA cop and later, Stanford Sheriff.

Posted by fried, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Dec 8, 2011 at 10:59 am

When I saw the article title, I thought this story was going to be about the Frys VP (and Palo Alto resident) who was just sentenced to 6 years for money laundering.

Posted by John, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 8, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Rick Tipton was a hurdles star at Stanford back in the late 60s/early 70s. Jim Ward was a 440 guy. I am surprised that Rick got caught up in this stuff. I am not surprised about Ward.

Posted by Tyler, a resident of Southgate
on Dec 8, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Rick's a kind, honest father, husband and friend. He doesn't fit the profile of a white collar criminal.

Posted by YSK, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 8, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Why do people do this stuff? Just not worth it. More, it's cruel.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 14, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

5 years should be the max for any economic crime. Save the prisons for violent predators.

Posted by VE, a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 22, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Didn't know Tipton, I did business once with Jim Ward. That was one too many. He always thought he was smarter than everyone. He told me once, that he would rather do business with a dishonest go getter, because he felt that would make some money, versus the honest, humble, meek partner that couldn't cut it. That was a RED FLAG for me.
I also know that during his time at Stanford, he started befriending retired Alumni through his Track and Field involvement, gaining their trust, and later he convinced them to invest with him. The court documents show that many of his investors were seniors.
He was always worried about getting cheated on a business venture. Over the years, I have found that the people that are consumed by this thinking are typically the crooks in society. Their reality is that they think everyone is dishonest because they are.
Also, in response to a five year limit on economic crimes? You must be kidding, Bernie Madoff come to mind? He single handedly destroyed hundreds of investors lives. How may people do you think Jim Ward cleaned out and the long term impact that has on their ability to retire or stay retired, keep their homes, pay for college tuitions.

Posted by devastation, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Dec 23, 2011 at 9:47 am

How much money did they steal? White collar crimes have devastated millions of families in recent years. The penalty should be at least a year in jail for each family that they have hurt.

Posted by rainbow, a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 1, 2012 at 7:58 am

I know Jim Ward and always thought he was a raging BW artist. I am not at all surprised by any of this. It's absolutely disgusting...throw him in the brig.

Posted by Mitch, a resident of Mountain View
on Mar 14, 2012 at 3:01 am

Have been following this case on occasion.
Ward was scheduled to be sentenced March 13th, but cant seem to find any ruling.
Does anybody know what he was sentenced to?

Posted by mugs, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Mar 14, 2012 at 10:19 am

Are mug shots of these crooks available? Are they out on bail right now?

Posted by rainbow, a resident of Mountain View
on Mar 24, 2012 at 6:32 am

All 3 are out on bail; each posting 100,000 and each are looking at 20 years -and restitution to the victims. Then...don't forget the civil suits -which could clean them all out. A pro pros'. I knew Ward-the biggest BS - blah blah braggart on the planet. I, too am looking to see what's in store for them. No news on their sentencing. If you check out Ward's Facebook page- he's got this "image" he's created like he's a rich Ward Cleaver. What a crock....

Sociopath....he defrauded some old lady out of her savings. Lock 'em up....all 3 of them.

Posted by pericollo, a resident of Stanford
on Apr 9, 2012 at 10:01 pm

My opinion: I knew Ward when in school and ran on the track team with him. He was good, a very tough runner. He was also a prima donna. He had an angry side to him. He was driving a brand-new, silver-colored Corvette when he started as a freshman at Stanford. I don't know how he came to have it. He was getting some kind of aid at Stanford since he was given a room, and part-time employment as a student fireman.

According to Peyton Jordan, Stanford did not provide athletic scholarships then. The Stanford athletic department was not a bastion of ethics and principle in those days.

I have no idea what was important to Ward besides running. Those were times when there were some very real issues to stand for on one side or the other. Even for athletes. He seemed mostly angry about that, not wanting to deal with such issues one way or the other, even though we were surounded by them. Not a few Stanford athletes were like that. I remember Ward asking once very angrily something like "Why can't we just run?" It was an accusation hurled at some of us.

Someone above posted "sociopath." Perhaps so. Maybe more to it than that. Whatever his motivation, I am not happy to have stumbled onto this news about him. If he swindled people, if he and others hurt people who trusted them, I think it's appropriate that he and the others make full restitution. At the least.

Posted by farm girl, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 29, 2012 at 4:20 am

Their attorney- David Lin~ just convicted. Sentencing for James Ward moved to June 26- 2012

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 29, 2012 at 10:33 am

Here's a relevant link about David Lin: Web Link

Enjoy your summer you scalawag!

Posted by Mitch, a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 27, 2012 at 8:03 am

27th already.

What have they been sentenced to?

Posted by Buckeye Fan, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jun 28, 2012 at 6:03 am

Never heard if Ward got a sentence on July 26, 2012. Seems to have
been removed from Judges docket. Anyone hear what happened?

Posted by farmgirl, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 28, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Yes~ what was Ward's sentence? Please tell me he didn't talk his way out of that one?

Posted by Mitch, a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 6, 2012 at 3:51 am

Dont think Ward will be in a position to talk himself out of this.

Lin is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 20th. Its my guess that sentencing of the others, Ward included, has been moved to Aug. 20th as well.

Lets hope we will know at summers end in about 6 weeks time.

Posted by Jet, a resident of Southgate
on Aug 8, 2012 at 6:40 pm

I know Tipton and found him to be an upright guy who got wrapped up in a twisted financial plot. Ward's personality is not Tipton's but how the two managed to work together is something they can only answer. What puzzles me is how Ward managed to attract so many "sophisticated" investors when his personality was well known. Like Maddoff, greed, on both sides, can blind one's common sense. I know I am going against the sentiment from most of the comments, but as far as Tipton is concerned I believe leniency should be considered. Restitution, do a little time and then sin no more. If there is a moral to the story it is associations can bring down the best of individuals. It apples to work, marriage and friends.

Posted by Mitch, a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 13, 2012 at 2:19 am

One of the main reasons so many 'sophisticated' (as you call it) investors got caught in the JWA and JSW web is that respected individuals like Tipton made it look trustworthy and legit.
Tipton was vice president of JSW from 2005-2008 and owned 33% stake in the company from 2006-2008 at least.

So regardless what you believe, or would like to believe about Tipton, he IS a key player in all this, and thus should be punished alike the others. He choose the fast money.

BTW: most investors were elderly people, seniors. Many of whom lost their entire life savings. Cant seem to find how you can conclude many victims are 'sophisticated' investors.

I dont know Ward nor Tipton so am not bothered by cloudy judgment.

What puzzles ME though, you state you know Tipton, but it seems like you know Ward even better. Or are your comments about Wards personality mere hear-say? It would undermine your credibility greatly if so,

I would like to end with Tiptons definition of succes as found on the CLIA website:
'being able to surround yourself with whatever you value most, whether its friends, flowers, money, art or beauty'.

Guess its public knowledge now what Tipton values most, so lets rephrase that:

Being able to surround yourself with whatever you value most, whether its inmates, striped suits, cigarettes, bars or birds on prison walls.

Posted by SAM ADAMS, a resident of Stanford
on Aug 17, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Jim Ward always thought about his clients frst. He made a great deal of money for our family and wa always kind and thoughtful. I know he did not itend for this to happen. He is not a swindler. I hope he gets probation. Everyone makes mistakes, so none of the stone throwers above must not live in glass houses.

Posted by Mitch, a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 17, 2012 at 10:34 pm

Good for you and your family Sam.

He (Ward), and the others, may or may not have had the intention for this to happen. That is irrelevant at this point in time. Fact is it did. They all pleaded quilty on all counts.

Maybe you could show some respect to all of those who lost their life savings, instead of bragging about what Ward achieved for you and your family. How long ago was that? Or are you and your family living off what Ward ea took from others?

Posted by farm girl, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 20, 2012 at 5:03 am

I know Ward, too. The picture that Sam (and other "cult" members) paint is is not the guy I know. Ward was a braggart and a user-and he now got caught with his pants down. I hope he likes the color orange/turn left-turn right/face forward. Anyone have an update of when he gets a photo with numbers on his chest?

Posted by patch, a resident of Stanford
on Aug 20, 2012 at 11:19 am

Ward and his attorney were scheduled for sentencing at 10 am in Judge Henderson's court in San Francisco, Aug 20, 2012. Perhaps the sentence info will be released soon.

Posted by patch, a resident of Stanford
on Aug 20, 2012 at 1:29 pm

James Ward was sentenced this morning to 60 months in prison.

The remaining defendants are scheduled to be sentenced on September 10.

No idea at the moment what the terms are regarding suspension or eligibility for parole.

Posted by elderteen, a resident of Stanford
on Aug 21, 2012 at 8:36 am

Patch, don't question the validity of your info but is there some online public record that addresses the sentencing?

Posted by patch, a resident of Stanford
on Aug 21, 2012 at 11:13 am


Jack Gillund
Public Affairs Officer
U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of California

Posted by patch, a resident of Stanford
on Aug 21, 2012 at 1:20 pm

(same source as previous)

The court delayed the determination of restitution pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3664(d)(5). If the parties do not reach a stipulation as to a restitution order, the Court will conduct a restitution hearing within 90 days.

As for Parole, there is no parole in the federal prison system. The defendant could be released early for good behavior but that would only be a few days for each month served.

Posted by Mitch, a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 24, 2012 at 12:19 am

PAO's Jocelyn Dong published the story today late afternoon.

Web Link

Posted by Rosemary Wells, a resident of another community
on Jan 30, 2013 at 5:59 am

This is not the Jim Ward I know. I knew of him around 2002 but actually met he and his family several years later. He was a very caring person and helped many people in our area. He has four children including a special needs son and an adopted son. I am 86 years years old and he was always so very kind to me. My granddaugter edited a book he wrote about Stanford. His great love was openwheel racing. Ijust want to say the Jim Ward I know was a kind and loving person who would never intentionally cheat anyone.I live in Columbus, Ohio, where integrity is valued.

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