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Police in Calif. believe financier killed himself

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[September 19, 2009]  NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) -- Investigators believe Danny Pang, the international financier who died in Southern California last weekend while facing charges of fraud, committed suicide, a police spokesman said Friday.

RestaurantPang was indicted in July on charges of illegally structuring financial transactions to evade currency-reporting requirements, just months after the Securities and Exchange Commission seized his assets and those of his two investment companies.

Pang, a Taiwanese immigrant, died Saturday at a hospital, a day after police and paramedics were called to his gated-community home.

"It is our opinion that the death appears to be suicide," said Newport Beach Police Sgt. Evan Sailor.

However, Pang's death won't officially be ruled a suicide until the coroner's investigation is finished, Sailor said.


The Orange County coroner ruled out foul play, but deferred a cause of death until toxicology reports are complete, a process that could take months.

David Schindler, a lawyer who represented Pang, said Thursday that any speculation that his late client's death was a suicide is "offensive." The Los Angeles attorney told The Wall Street Journal that Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, where Pang died, told his family that he had a heart attack.

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The SEC alleged Pang and his companies raised hundreds of millions of dollars from mostly Taiwanese investors through fraudulent securities.

The court-appointed receiver said Pang, 42, used investor funds as a "personal piggy bank" to fund $35 million on a fleet of jets, $1 million on a cruise for employees and $1.5 million on a China vacation for his staff.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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