Man Charged With Fraud in Draining $7.5M From Angel Investor’s Account

6/22/10Follow @bvbigelow

San Diego authorities have charged a 59-year-old man with identity theft, saying he unlawfully transferred $7.5 million from a Deutsche Bank account by posing as the actual account holder—a retired San Diego biotech executive and angel investor who was found dead on June 8.

San Diego police also are investigating the death of the executive, John G. Watson, as a possible homicide. Watson, who was 65, was a board member at the San Diego Tech Coast Angels and active with Connect, the San Diego nonprofit program for technology and entrepreneurship.

Police arrested Kent Keigwin, 59, on June 11 after he showed up at Watson’s residential unit on Camino Del Oro in La Jolla, according to Deputy District Attorney Sharla Evert. Police investigators, who were in Watson’s home searching for evidence, already knew that someone posing as Watson had transferred $7.5 million to a Scottrade account that was opened in Watson’s name, Evert says.

Keigwin had been representing himself as a financial advisor to the “entrepreneur and investor community” in San Diego, Evert says. Keigwin pleaded innocent to identity theft and related felony fraud charges at a June 15 arraignment. His bail was set at $2.5 million, and Evert says he remains in jail.

Police homicide Lt. Kevin Rooney told me yesterday that investigators are awaiting a formal determination on the cause of Watson’s death by the San Diego County Medical Examiner.

As I reported last week, Watson’s body was found on the floor of his bedroom on the evening of June 8 after he failed to appear for the San Diego Tech Coast Angels’ regular board meeting and dinner event at the UC San Diego faculty club. Watson was expected to serve as the event’s master of ceremonies and fellow board members, who were alarmed and concerned by his absence, found his body. It was unknown how long he had been dead, but TCA members told me Watson had not responded to e-mails sent days before the event.

Evert says the new account in Watson’s name appears to have been opened the previous day, on June 7.


Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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