Is Hastert arrest just the tip of the iceberg?

I keep hearing such speculation in the wake of Grass Valley attorney and Loan Sense businessman Thomas Hastert’s arrest for allegedly “brazenly deceiving” investors and borrowers in our county and neighboring ones.

Seventy-three criminal counts were filed against Hastert in Nevada County Superior Court last month for alleged embezzlement, securities fraud, conspiracy and filing false documents.

Hard-money loans — financing where a borrower receives funds secured by the value of a parcel of real estate — were commonplace in the go-go days. Many of the deals unraveled when the market plunged.

Hastert alone allegedly brokered more than 270 hard-money loans.

The investigation into the Hastert case is ongoing. Investigators often have a hard time with these cases unless victims come forward.

“White collar” crime is tedious and time-consuming work, requiring special expertise. But it often touches a lot of people, so it is worth the time.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

One thought on “Is Hastert arrest just the tip of the iceberg?”

  1. It should also be remembered that “white collar crime” may also destroy lives as surely as murder. I recall listening to testimony given to Congress during the S&L meltdown in the 1980s, when many elderly people lost everything. There were cases of old people sitting in their bathtubs slitting their wrists.

    We have to struggle a bit with our class inclination to sympathize with white collar criminals, who don’t look like they should be in jail. Of course, we have to be careful not to be too eager to “fry” them either. Tricky … trusting in justice without forgetting the victims of these crimes.

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