FRESNO — An appellate court has upheld a lower court’s ruling that a widow of a Fresno businessman targeted in a fraud investigation should pay $115 million to hundreds of victims throughout the state.
The Fresno Bee reports (http://bit.ly/1aHzdMz) the 5th District Court of Appeal agreed with a 2012 ruling that found Kathleen Otto benefited from her late husband’s fraud and she should be held liable for his debt.
Otto filed for bankruptcy and liquidated some of her assets, including a country club home and expensive cars. Her assets now may be worth $1 million to $1.5 million.
John Otto was accused of defrauding investors by convincing them to loan his company money based on agreements he purported to have with American Express. He committed suicide after authorities began investigating the alleged scheme in 2009.