Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.
QUESTION: What happened to Jonathon Appleton, who operated real estate and insurance businesses and was accused of investment scams about 10 years ago?
Submitted by: Curious, Sacramento
ANSWER: Alden Jonathon Apple of Fair Oaks was sentenced in in 2003 to seven years in state prison for bilking members of his church out of more than $680,000 in an investment scam.
According to stories in The Bee, Appleton used the proceeds of the operation to finance a low-income real estate empire in the Sacramento area that once included more than 50 units in the Franklin Villa housing complex.
A longtime Sacramento businessman, Appleton at one time had hundreds of clients whose funds he invested through a midtown firm called First Financial. His business was effectively shut down by a judgment obtained against him in July 2001 by the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office. His assets were then placed under the control of a court-appointed receiver while prosecutors continued a criminal investigation into his business operations.
Prosecutors initially filed a 30-count complaint against Appleton that could have led to an 18-year prison term. Appleton ended up pleading no contest to four counts of defrauding four people of more than $500,000.
In addition to the prison sentence, he was ordered to pay $683,668.23 to his victims, the amount he was accused of taking from the victims in the original complaint.
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