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Wednesday, July 24, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Man Rolled His In-Laws for $24 Million

LOS ANGELES (CN) - A San Luis Obispo County man pleaded guilty Monday to defrauding people - including his in-laws - of $47 million.

John Mark Moore, 51, of Nipomo admitted he stole $24 million from his in-laws and another $23 million from a friend and five banks, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Moore's in-laws were "long-established and well-respected farmers in

San Luis Obispo County," prosecutors said in the statement.

Moore pleaded guilty to mail fraud, wire fraud, and two counts of making false statements to Farm Credit West, a production credit association in Templeton, Calif.

"According to court documents, Moore took unauthorized disbursements from the bank accounts and lines of credit belonging to his father-in-law and mother-in-law," according to the U.S. attorney. "Once he had control of the funds derived from his in-law's accounts, Moore used the money to support businesses that he and his father controlled. Over the course of approximately 11 years, Moore diverted approximately $13.8 million from his in-law's business and personal accounts at FCW and transferred the money to his father's company, Moore Agricultural Products (which after March 2004 was owned by his mother) or to companies Moore himself owned, such as American Microtech, LLC.

"In another scheme, Moore also stole money from his in-laws by fraudulently increasing their personal and business lines of credit at FCW, and then fully drawing down on these lines of credit without having the ability to repay these loans. Moore improperly increased these lines of credit by repeatedly forging his in-law's signatures on several loan applications that allowed him to increase their personal and business lines of credit at FCW in one case from $1 million to $6.5 million and, in another case, from $1 million to $4 million. Accordingly, Moore fraudulently borrowed $10.5 million against his in-law's business and personal lines of credit from 2000 through 2011, and he fully defaulted on these obligations."

He also forged his own wife's signature to defraud four banks and the farm credit group of $11.4 million, prosecutors said.

In a fourth scam, he "bilked a friend and business associate of his in-laws" for $12 million, prosecutors said.

He faces up to 100 years in prison when he is sentenced on July 29.

Prosecutors did not say what Moore did with all the loot.

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