A former Navy SEAL charged with stealing more than $1 million from 11 active and retired SEALs faced additional felony counts Monday for allegedly stealing $50,000 from a family friend.
Jason Mullaney is accused of stealing more than $1 million from other Navy SEALs. A San Diego court decided Monday that one more charge should be added to the long list of grievances against the former SEAL. (Image source: WNEP-TV)
Jason Matthew Mullaney, 42, appeared in a San Diego court Monday for the first preliminary hearing as the prosecution laid out the case against the 42-year-old former special operator.
After initial evidence was presented during the preliminary hearing, Judge Frederick Maguire ruled Mullaney should stand trial on charges of grand theft and fraud in the sale of a security. If he's found guilty, Mullaney faces up to 27 years in prison.
The hearing also determined that the $50,000 claim will be consolidated with the other 11 complaints into one case against Mullaney, who allegedly got the SEALS and the family friend to invest in his money-lending business, according to the Imperial Beach Patch.
Mullaney's company, Trident Financial Holdings & Acquisitions, is still listed in "active" status by the California Franchise Tax Board according to Wysk.
Mullaney has pleaded not guilty to the 29 felony charges against him, including grand theft and fraud associated with his hard money lending business. His investors-turned-accusers said when they tried to get their money back, Mullaney said he didn't have it. According to WNEP, one man who testified at an earlier trial said Mullaney told investors he had secured collateral from borrowers -- such as titles to luxury cars -- as insurance in case the borrower failed to repay the loan.
One former SEAL who invested $40,000 with Mullaney said the defendant offered him a handgun when he didn't pay him back.
The first to take the stand in Monday's trial was Michael Brown, a police investigator who has been involved in the case since Mullaney’s arrest in 2012.
According to KNSD-TV:
Brown told the court one of the alleged victims, Andrew Geiger, trusted Mullaney as a family friend and even dated the defendant’s sister.
So when Mullaney asked Geiger to invest in his business, Geiger gave him $50,000 and expected a 24 percent return on his investment, according to Brown.
The friend claims he received nothing in return... [and] said Mullaney told his investors he was loaning money to borrowers with risky credit, and he gave about $20,000 back to his investors.
The defense pointed out that Mullaney himself had lost money, and heard from a forensic accountant for the FBI that the former SEALs technique of transferring money from his business account to a personal account was unusual, but not unethical.
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