Formerly jailed attorney fails to lower Moriarty’s bail

October 25, 2013
Scott Whitenack

Scott Whitenack

Santa Maria attorney Scott Whitenack, who met Grover Beach financier Al Moriarty in San Luis Obispo County Jail, failed in his bid Thursday to reduce Moriarty’s $5 million bail.

San Luis Obispo County law enforcement officers arrested Whitenack three times this year for a range of misdemeanors and felonies, including public intoxication and second-degree burglary. Sheriff’s deputies last released Whitenack from jail on September 11.

Prior to leaving jail, Whitenack talked Moriarty, 80, into switching attorneys. Moriarty, who is accused of up to $22 million in financial fraud, dropped his previous attorney and had Whitenack represent him at an October 16 bail reduction hearing. Judge Barry LaBarbera continued the hearing until Thursday in San Luis Obispo Superior Court.

Whitenack argued Thursday that the county is unconstitutionally holding Moriarty and that the court should reduce his bail to $240,000. He added that Moriarty has a bad hip.

Judge Dodie Harman said she would consider reducing Moriarty’s bail if Whitenack could prove his client owed less than $5 million to investors.

San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office investigator A.J. Santana testified that Moriarty owed more than $5 million and up to $22 million.

Whitenack asked numerous questions of Santana during cross-examination, but Harman sustained objections to many of them. Harman said repeatedly that Whitenack should ask the questions during trial, not during a bail reduction hearing.

Officers arrested Moriarty in May in Washington state for eight charges, including securities fraud and scheming to defraud. Moriarty moved to Washington in December and filed for bankruptcy shortly thereafter.

Former Moriarty Enterprises investors have filed a total of 19 lawsuits claiming Moriarty committed fraud in his business dealings.



  1. SLOBIRD says:

    The man is 80 years old, not likely to leave the Country, so why use our tax dollars to house him. When you look at Gearhart. Miller, Hurst, etc. just put him under house arrest and let him pay for his own food and housing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6

  2. OnTheOtherHand says:

    I’m beginning to wonder if Mr. Moriarty is perhaps becoming a bit senile. Why else would he switch to an attorney he met as a fellow inmate except if he has lost his ability to judge the character of those who try to befriend him? (Of course, I remember reading somewhere that con-men make the easiest marks for other con-men.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

    • r0y says:

      …or it’s all “part of the plan” to plead insanity or mental incompetence (or whatever to get a reduced sentence in a funhouse).

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  3. Old Salt says:

    “victim money appears to be the source of his personal “wealth.”

    Just like X-Correctional Officer Kelly Gearhart…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  4. hijinks says:

    Isn’t it interesting that Moriarty, who advertised widely that he offered investing integrity in an age of fraud, ends up being a just another fraudster, and a big Mustang booster whose name still sits at the top of the scoreboard at Mustang Stadium. Come on, Cal Poly, do you really want that fraudster’s name, complete with its nice Irish clover logo, up there so all can see your complicity in his fraud? Get it down!

    PS. Maybe the fraud victims should go after the Cal Poly football program’s funds, since football received bucks from this guy — undoubtedly money that rightfully belongs to the victims since victim money appears to be the source of his personal “wealth.”

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 33 Thumb down 8

    • Mr. Holly says:

      Maybe the sign should be modified to read “From The Victims of Al Moriarty”?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 3

      • r0y says:

        Nah, a simple inserting of “Criminal” so it reads, “Moriarty Criminal Enterprises”

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

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