A California business man and an attorney were recently convicted in a
multimillion dollar bankruptcy fraud and money laundering scheme that
carried on for a number of years. Steven Zinnel, 49, of Gold River and
attorney Derian Eidson, 49, of Yorba Linda, will both be sentenced later
this year their roles in the scheme that included concealing funds and
using different names of corporations in order to keep their transactions secret.
Zinnel was convicted of 15 counts of bankruptcy fraud and money laundering.
Eidson was convicted of one count of attempting to commit money laundering
and one count of conspiring. In 2001, Zinnel was involved in child support
litigation with his ex-wife. He mentioned to her that he would file a
personal bankruptcy. At the time, he was in control over several corporations
related to electrical infrastructure before and after he filed bankruptcy.
Zinnel had several properties that he put into the name of other people
to conceal it. When he filed, he claimed to have assets at roughly $843,000,
secured debt at just over $2 million, and unsecured debts at over $4 million.
He was successful in concealing his assets when he filed and his case
was closed with debts being discharged. After the case was closed, Zinnel
began laundering funds to himself through Eidson’s company.
Zinnel had invested hundreds of thousands into a company he was being paid
distribution as an owner for years. During this time, Zinnel used the
names of other corporations and even forged his signature with one, to
disguise property control to direct the funds to other accounts. Eidson
had authority through Zinnel over her company bank account, which allowed
him to use it for personal expenses.
Zinnel was later taken into custody and along with Eidson, were indicted
by a federal jury that included an 11-day trial.