A former Navy SEAL accused of stealing more than $1 million from fellow SEALs and others after getting them to invest in his money-lending business pleaded not guilty Tuesday to multiple charges of grand theft and securities violations.
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Jason Matthew Mullaney, 40, was ordered held on $2 million bail.
Deputy District Attorney Hector Jimenez alleged Mullaney used his standing as a former SEAL to get others to invest in his Trident Financial Holdings & Acquisitions, then used the money for his personal gain.
So far, investigators have identified 13 alleged victims, including former and active SEALs, the prosecutor said.
"If people wanted to borrow money, Mr. Mullaney would give you a hard loan, with interest. That was the plan anyway," Jimenez said outside court. "Mr. Mullaney got people to invest in his company so he could have money to lend. He made some loans, but unfortunately, he didn't use the money as he said he would."
Asked if the victims had any hope of getting their money back, Jimenez answered, "At this point, we don't know if he has money to recover, if he has money somewhere else. Maybe he does, but we don't know."
Jimenez told Judge David Szumowski that Mullaney was a flight risk because he had no roots in San Diego, was unemployed and "was in Thailand six months ago. He went there to get away from his problems."
Mullaney faces 34 years in prison if convicted. He will be back in court Friday for a bail review and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for Aug. 20.
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