Nipomo man accused of embezzling $50 million
October 1, 2012
A Nipomo business owner is accused of forging numerous loan documents as part of a more than $50 million fraud scheme he allegedly implemented against three local banks, business associates and several members of his family, sources said.
While under a federal investigation, Mark Moore admitted that he forged loan documents while socializing with bank employees who failed to validate signatures, documents say. He blames bank employees for letting their guard down. Moore contends that because he was the son-in-law of a bank board member, employees allowed him to perpetuate the theft.
Moore is accused of stealing from his in laws, his children’s college fund, his mother, a Riverside investor and local branches of Farm Credit West, Bank of America and Rabobank. He faces charges of bank fraud, mail fraud, embezzlement and forgery.
In the late 90s, Moore worked for Farm Credit West in Arroyo Grande. He then married founding board member Michael Cavaletto’s daughter, left the bank, started his own agricultural chemical company, and began dining regularly with a loan officer at the bank.
In early 2000, Moore began managing the Cavaletto family trust. Cavaletto is an avocado grower and the co-owner of C&M Nursery in Nipomo.
It was at this time Moore started applying for loans in Cavaletto’s name, without informing Cavaletto, according to documents obtained by CCN.
In late 2002, Moore first applied for a loan at Bank of America. In the documents, he notes his surprise that no one at Bank of America bothered to validate signatures. He then allegedly began procuring loans in his mother’s name and his wife’s name.
From 2003 through 2007, he switched some of his accounts to Mid-State Bank and Trust (now Rabobank). In the beginning, Moore was concerned Mid-State Bank and Trust officials would question him about the loans but, as in the past, no one did.
Moore blames a total system failure, along with bank employees who were easily manipulated by compliments, for his decade long history of embezzlement, according to records obtained by CCN.
Moore, Cavalleto, bank officials and Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Stern either refused, or said they were not permitted, to comment on the case.