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Victims of San Diego financial fraud get savings returned

Posted at 1:56 PM, Sep 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-06 16:56:41-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Restitution payments were sent this week to the victim of an investor who stole $1.5 million, San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan said Friday in a news release.

Shawn Heffernan of the Heffernan Group took the investments of 15 people “who were susceptible to fraud due to inattention or advanced age,” the DA’s office said. Heffernan spent the money on personal items, including a lavish wedding and a Maserati.

In 2018, Heffernan pleaded guilty to 29 criminal counts including elder fraud, grand theft, forgery, and making a fraudulent tax return. He sentenced to nine years in prison.

The judge ordered Heffernan to repay the victims, $320,000 of which has been secured, the DA’s office reported.

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The first victim to receive the funds was Gene Newman, who lost $190,000. The other victims will soon receive their money, said Stephan.

“Obtaining justice for victims of complex fraud – especially those who are elderly – is a priority for our office,” Stephan said. “This case is an example of due process that includes victims getting their money back through restitution. When victims get back any portion of their loss, it goes a long way toward providing a measure of justice in a truly impactful way.”