Ex-convict who owes victims $8 million vacations at beach resort
Tony Daniloo, released from prison in 2013, no longer under watch by probation officers
His $100 monthly payments are reducing government assessment instead of helping his victims
Daniloo might owe nothing in 17 years, at age 58, after victims receive an estimated $14,400
Convicted swindler Tony Daniloo enjoyed luxury cars and jewelry while bilking millions of dollars from victims in Modesto, Turlock and beyond. When he had trouble keeping a job soon after his release from prison three years ago, a federal judge agreed to lower Daniloo’s repayment duty to $50 a month.
Daniloo, now a handyman, remains under order to pay a combined $8 million. His victims have not received a cent, yet a judge granted Daniloo permission to vacation last month with his girlfriend at a Mexico beach resort.
THE COST OF THE TRIP WILL BE PAID FOR BY MR. DANILOO’S GIRLFRIEND.
U.S. Probation Officer Kristen Coleman, in Dec. 1 Daniloo travel request
His probation term having ended Saturday, Daniloo now can go anywhere he wants without checking with authorities.
The Modesto Bee was unable to reach the former mortgage lender and broker, who acquaintances say now lives in the Bay Area. Court records show he has been chiseling away at his debt with wages as “a handyman, providing assistance to his landlord, as needed,” a federal probation officer wrote.
Daniloo’s many victims – including relatives, an Alzheimer’s patient and a woman who committed suicide – have received nothing because whatever little he comes up with goes first toward a $12,200 special assessment, or government charge, levied at the same time he received the restitution order. He has paid almost half the assessment; some presumably went to assist unspecified victims in government programs.
The probation officer, noting Daniloo’s “consistent payments toward the special assessment,” said the December trip to Los Cabos would be covered by his girlfriend. “He will continue to dedicate his funds to his outstanding court-ordered financial obligations,” the officer wrote, adding that Daniloo had agreed to up his monthly payments to $100.
A FINANCIAL INVESTIGATION REVEALED (DANILOO) CAN AFFORD TO MAKE PAYMENTS OF AT LEAST $100 PER MONTH.
U.S. Probation Officer Kristen Coleman, in Dec. 1 payment modification
At that rate, Daniloo, 41, will need more than five years to pay off the assessment.
Federal rules end the government’s authority to collect restitution when the offender dies, or 20 years after he’s released from prison. Daniloo would cross that threshold in 2033, when he’s 58.
If he continues paying $100 a month, his victims might see $14,400 of the $8 million they’re owed ($6.7 million from his federal conviction, plus $1.3 million from a separate 2006 fraud conviction in Alameda County).
$8 million Owed to victims, under court order, by Tony Daniloo since his 2007 conviction
$0 Sum received by victims so far
$14,400 What victims might get by the time Daniloo no longer has to pay, in 2033
At the height of his glory, Daniloo owned Modesto-based DreamLife Financial and posed as a wealthy philanthropist, pledging millions of dollars to California State University, Stanislaus, and Turlock’s Emanuel Medical Center. He was a finalist in naming rights to the San Francisco 49ers stadium before his house of cards tumbled in a Bee investigation.
Selling homes to cash-strapped buyers, Daniloo siphoned millions from escrow accounts and millions more from investors, authorities said.
Daniloo ripped off his parents, his wife’s parents, his friends and neighbors, legal documents say, while stuffing his Turlock garage with a $170,000 Lamborghini and two Mercedes-Benzes worth a combined $193,000. His wife cut a plea deal with prosecutors and divorced him in early 2008, at the time telling The Bee she had been blinded to her husband’s corruption.
IT IS (MY) RECOMMENDATION FOR THE COURT TO TAKE JUDICIAL NOTICE OF THE UNPAID RESTITUTION BALANCE AND PERMIT SUPERVISION TO EXPIRE (JAN. 9) AS SCHEDULED.
U.S. Probation Officer Kristen Coleman, in Dec. 1 “Report on Offender Under Supervision”
A Bee review of six Modesto-area white-collar criminals in July found that they owed nearly $33 million combined and had coughed up less than 1 cent for each $100 ordered in restitution. Several victims have died waiting, the review found.
Among the offenders was former Modesto-based Century 21 Apollo owner Jim Lankford, now doing time in a federal penitentiary in Oklahoma, who was ordered to repay $1.3 million. Authorities plan to sell a duplex he owns on Melrose Street in Modesto; a judge two weeks ago agreed that one couple swindled by Lankford will get $29,000, and another couple, $15,000, representing 66 percent and 34 percent, respectively, of what they’re owed.
The U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of California collected $121 million in civil and criminal cases in 2015, the office said. That includes forfeited assets such as Lankford’s duplex as well as new payments from ex-convicts such as Daniloo.
It’s not yet known how much restitution will be ordered from Modesto businessman Tony Huy Havens, who struck a plea deal on a fraud conviction in September after preying on golf course and casino developers who were promised $1.1 billion in financing and received nothing. Prosecutors have asked that he get more than four years when he is sentenced in March, while his lawyer recommends less than 3 1/2 years.
When approving a sentencing delay last month, a judge sternly warned Havens not to expect another. But his attorney on Tuesday asked that Havens, who owns McHenry Avenue’s Emperor Electronics, have until April 1, “to permit Mr. Havens to explain his absence to his children and family and to permit him to complete necessary matters before he goes into custody and to assist his family in preparing to be without him.”
They say 50-year-old Christopher Carlson of Indianapolis was found shot multiple times Friday in an alley on the city’s north side. Police say they have no suspects.
Two small children who investigators believe to be Carlson’s children were unharmed and being cared for by a police Victim Assistance Unit.
Sgt. Christopher Wilburn said Sunday that Carlson’s relatives stated he was the same man convicted of child abuse for forcing his grandsons – then ages 8, 9 and 12 – to hike 19 miles in the Grand Canyon in August 2011. A federal judge ordered him to serve 27 months in prison.
The oldest described during the trial secretly asking a hiker to call 911 toward the end of a 19-mile hike on Aug. 28 after he started throwing up, falling down because of cramping and experiencing changes to his vision.
Investigators have said that Carlson told them that the boys were overweight and that he thought hiking the Grand Canyon would help get them into shape.
Defense attorney Jeffrey Williams has portrayed the 45-year-old Carlson as an active health nut who had a firm hand and wanted to show the boys the world. Like anyone after a long hike, the boys were tired, hungry and thirsty, but Carlson only allowed the boys to eat healthy food like tofu, hummus and veggie burgers, Williams said in his opening statement.
“I suppose to an 8, 9 or 10-year-old that might seem like child abuse if you like cheeseburgers, French fries and pizza,” he said. “He wanted to get them from behind the TV, the games and fast food.”
The middle grandson, who is now 10 years old, said that Carlson discovered that the kids had hidden unwanted cauliflower, asparagus and fish in their van. Carlson made them eat it even though the food had hair and other debris on it. Another time, the boy said Carlson made him eat broccoli that he had tried to flush down the toilet.
The oldest child told jurors that he threw up several times and said Carlson denied him water at various instances while sipping from a jug himself. He said his grandfather got mad whenever he started walking too slow, and at one point hit him in the face with a rock, causing his lips to bleed.
“I started crying and walking faster and he kicked me in the butt and said, `Run,”‘ the boy said.
The boy said Carlson was in a hurry to get to the top of the Grand Canyon so he could see the sunset.
A ranger with binoculars spotted the group during their Aug. 28 hike, the same day a man died on another trail from heat exposure. The ranger reported seeing Carlson shoving the oldest boy and whipping him with a rolled-up T-shirt.
Rangers fed the boys and gave them water after one showed symptoms of heat stroke and the other two had signs of heat exhaustion and dehydration. Investigators said the boys were covered in cuts, bruises and scars that backed up their stories.
Prosecutor Camille Bibles told jurors that the middle child got severe blisters on the first hike and that they hadn’t fully healed by the second hike.
‘El Chapo’ met with actor Sean Penn months before recapture, Rolling Stone magazine says
‘Look, all I do is defend myself, nothing more,’ Joaquin Guzman told Penn. ‘But do I start trouble?
Never’Penn preceded the article with his own moral reflections about traveling to interview the head of a criminal organization
Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, right, is escorted by soldiers and marines to a waiting helicopter, at a federal hangar in Mexico City, on Friday, Jan. 8, 2016. The world’s most wanted drug lord was recaptured by Mexican marines Friday, six months after he fled through a tunnel from a maximum security prison in an escape that deeply embarrassed the government and strained ties with the United States.
Drug kingpin Joaquin Guzman, the billionaire fugitive captured in a shootout Friday in Mexico, met with actor Sean Penn for a secret interview for Rolling Stone magazine in the months before his capture.
The article, written by Penn and published Saturday night, reveals that the actor traveled to Mexico to interview Guzman, widely known as El Chapo, in October, while the drug lord was on the run from Mexican authorities after escaping prison.
The seven-hour interview is considered to be the first Guzman has conducted in decades. The actor, accompanied by Mexican soap drama actress Kate del Castillo, who helped broker the meeting, met with Guzman at an undisclosed jungle location in Mexico, surrounded by dozens of cartel guards.
Guzman told Penn that he resorted to the drug trade because of lack of job opportunities in his native state of Sinaloa. “Where I grew up there was no other way and there still isn’t a way to survive, no way to work in our economy to be able to make a living,” he said.
Guzman said that despite his reputation as a murderous drug kingpin, he does not consider himself a violent man.
“Look, all I do is defend myself, nothing more,” he said. “But do I start trouble? Never.”
El Chapo Met in Secret With Actor Sean Penn For Interview: Rolling Stone
KTLA – Los Angeles
The drug lord described his impoverished childhood in the town of Badiraguato, where his mother had to sell bread to support the family; Guzman, as a child, earned money by selling oranges, soft drinks and candy.
The family grew corn and beans, he said, while Guzman took care of his grandmother’s cattle and chopped wood.
As he grew to be a teenager, he told Penn, “The only way to have money to buy food, to survive, is to grow poppy, marijuana, and at that age, I began to grow it, to cultivate it and to sell it.”
When Penn asked him about the destructive effects of drugs, Guzman didn’t deny it. “It’s a reality that drugs destroy,” he said.
But he added: “If there was no consumption, there would be no sales.”
Penn preceded the article with his own moral reflections about traveling to interview the head of a criminal organization that has dealt liberally in both drugs and murder.
“I take no pride in keeping secrets that may be perceived as protecting criminals,” the actor wrote, and confessed that he had fears for his own safety throughout his lengthy journey–by SUV traveling at 100 miles per hour, a single-engine plane taking off from a dirt strip, and finally a long passage through the jungle–to rendezvous with Guzman.
He echoed one of the drug kingpin’s own points, in questioning the responsibility of American consumers, and also criticized the nation’s “puritanical and prosecutorial culture” in the failed war on drugs.
“Not since Osama bin Laden has the pursuit of a fugitive so occupied the public imagination,” Penn wrote. “But unlike bin Laden, … with the world’s most wanted drug lord, are we, the American public, not indeed complicit in what we demonize?
“We are the consumers, and as such, we are complicit in every corruption of an institution’s ability to protect the quality of life for citizens of Mexico and the United States that comes from our insatiable appetite for illicit narcotics.”
The article’s publication follows news that Guzman had been in talks to produce a movie about his life and authorities were able to zero in on his whereabouts through his contacts with his lawyers and producers.
Penn writes that after Guzman’s most recent escape from prison, the drug lord’s attorneys were overwhelmed by overtures from Hollywood studios to produce a movie based on his life. Guzman, however, decided to produce his own, insisting that Del Castillo, who had previously expressed support on Twitter, be involved. Penn learned of Del Castillo’s involvement and suggested an interview.
Penn spent seven hours with Guzman, and conducted follow-up interviews over the phone and by video.
In one question, Penn mentions the violent death of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. Penn asked: “How do you see your final days with respect to this business?”
“I know one day I will die,” Guzman said. “I hope it’s of natural causes.”
I assume Mr Penn will be looking at charges for aiding and abetting a major felon?