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Palo Alto man gets 18 months for real estate fraud

Original post made on Sep 25, 2012

Richard Ferguson Tipton of Palo Alto received an 18-month federal prison sentence Monday for his part in a real estate investment scheme that victimized 200 Bay Area investors.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, September 25, 2012, 9:48 AM

Comments (15)

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Posted by mug shots?
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 25, 2012 at 10:08 am

How about some mug shots of the criminals?

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Posted by Enough!
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Sep 25, 2012 at 10:40 am

Really sad how people who are doing well can't be happy with that and feel they have to have it all.

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Posted by Not sad
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 25, 2012 at 10:56 am

This group has been ripping people off for years. Predatory lending practices, foreclosing on hard working builders, screwing everybody they could while maintaining the guise of being "good business men", the public humiliation should have been better publicized.

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Posted by Aquamarine
a resident of Stanford
on Sep 25, 2012 at 11:05 am

Who are these "prominent people" who wanted a lenient sentence for this jerk?

Not sad - can you tell us more about their predatory lending practices?

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Posted by Silly
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 25, 2012 at 11:09 am

What a relief he only got 18 months. Good thing he didn't rob $10 worth of stuff from the 7/11.

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Posted by Gethin
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 25, 2012 at 11:52 am

18 months seems a ridiculously short sentence for this crime particularly as 20 years was possible. Of course he helped, he is basically getting no more than a tiny slap on the wrist and perhaps will not even serve 18 months.
I wonder how many of the 79 prominent people who are so forgiving, he and his friends stole money from, and what does the term "prominent" mean? I wonder what the opinion is of the people who were stolen from is on a suitable sentence.
18 months for the theft/loss of $7M to $20M; not exactly a huge deterrent.

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Posted by Cid Young
a resident of another community
on Sep 25, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Another Shell Game, Ponzi Scheme or Investor Fraud. I wonder if the victims were prominent people, like the victims of Bernie Maddoff who made-off with their money? Some of his victims were "prominent" members of his own Jewish Communityi

If people would only do a bit of homework, or be skeptical, then people like these folks could not have been successful at ripping investors off.

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Posted by Keeping 100
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 25, 2012 at 1:50 pm

It's called Greed! And this is just the beginning. It's sad that it's never enough the one's who are well off are trying to harbor more. The other sad thing is that after getting all that you can, it still will leave you where you started. cause then you die and you can't take a thing with you....Just something to think about.

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Posted by ME
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Sep 25, 2012 at 9:53 pm

I wonder why these writers feel qualified to make such incriminating judgments? It is obvious that they don't know all the facts any more than I do. I suspect they enjoy seeing their name in print. Be careful how you judge another.

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Posted by Chris
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Sep 25, 2012 at 11:00 pm

From what I understand these investors who invested in real estate projects in "late 2008" and were receiving a 10% annual return. If you invested in California real estate (as I have myself) in 2008 you're lucky if you held onto 2/3 of the ivestment let along a 10% return - we all lost money in real estate in 2008. IF you invest esp at a 10% you gotta recognize there's some risk otherwise 99.9% of the worlds money would be there where 10% is gauranteed. Doesn't sound like these guys stole anything. This company colapsed and exposed some errors just as thousands of other companys did in 2008 that did not recieve a govt bailout. This again was in real estate - hardest hit segments in the hardest hit area - nearly all of us lost money at this time both in real esate and investment - its a sad story but investors gotta take some responsibility that it was prob a bad investment in a bad segment at one of the worst times economically

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Posted by Jake
a resident of another community
on Sep 26, 2012 at 9:54 am

Again it seems white collar crime pays, 18 months for that much money and peoples lives destroyed is a joke. As others have already said, if you robbed the local 7-11 of a few hundred dollars you would probably do more time.

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Posted by Not Sad
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 26, 2012 at 10:35 am

I am sure the prominant people were those that have been reaping the benefits of these thieves for years. Investors who received great returns on the broken backs of the people who this group ripped off. From their perspective these were great guys. Of course there were those in Germany in the 40"s who thought the same thing from those that enpowered them to make a lot of money. Who cares how it was procured.

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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 26, 2012 at 11:55 am

I don't associate fraud with any threat of violence, which is the difference between this and robbery.

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Posted by lock them up
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 27, 2012 at 7:52 pm

Anyone who defrauds a senior should be locked up.

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Posted by Old Palo Alto
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 17, 2012 at 3:09 pm

So what was Edward Locker's sentence?

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