PETALUMA (CBS SF) — A Petaluma man who allegedly stole more than $20 million from dozens of investors in a Ponzi scheme has been arrested, Attorney General Kamala Harris and Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch announced Tuesday.
Aldo Joseph Baccala, 71, was charged with 167 felony counts of grand theft, securities fraud and elder abuse. He also has been charged with a number of enhancements, according to the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office.READ MORE: Marin County Uses State Grant to Seal Rural Roads With Recycled Tires
Baccala allegedly used his Petaluma-based company, Baccala Realty Inc., to raise millions of dollars from more than 50 investors for ventures in California and others states, such as a car wash and assisted living facilities.
Victims of the scheme were promised annual returns of at least 12 percent to invest in specific projects.READ MORE: Contractor Who Bribed San Francisco Public Works Director Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison
After receiving numerous complaints, the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office launched an investigation into his company in January 2009.
His bail has been set at $2 million. He is being held at the Sonoma County Adult Detention Facility.MORE NEWS: Warnings About San Francisco Millennium Tower Repair Plans Raised Before Work Began
(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)