What Happened At La Jolla Bank? Part II

La Jolla Bank, which failed last week amid allegations of possible fraud, is the subject of a Nevada lawsuit that has a great cast of characters.

It involves a Republican Senate candidate, a flamboyant San Diego real estate broker, a basketball coach known for chewing towels, a horse farm that once belonged to Don Drysdale, and allegations of fraud.

The Tarkanian family sued La Jolla Bank in January to stop it from foreclosing on 13 acres of vacant land on south Las Vegas Boulevard. (See 1 and 2.)

The Tarkanians are a prominent Las Vegas family: Danny Tarkanian is a Republican who’s trying to unseat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. His dad, Jerry, is the former towel-chewing men’s basketball coach at UNLV; his mom, Lois, is a Las Vegas councilwoman.

La Jolla Bank lent $25.5 million in 2005 to the Tarkanians and their partners, with the Las Vegas land as security.

The Tarkanians planned to loan some of that money to Solana Beach broker-turned-developer Robert A. Dyson Jr. for an “equestrian destination resort” in Anza, California on land once owned by Dodgers great Don Drysdale.

Unbeknownst to the Tarkanians, however, Dyson already owed money to La Jolla Bank for the Anza project. He paid off some of his La Jolla Bank loans with the money that the Tarkanians borrowed from the same bank.

The North County Times reported last year that Dyson and his wife made a fortune selling high-end coastal real estate only to file for bankruptcy in 2008. Some juicy details:

“The trustee supervising their bankruptcy recommended in December that the couple abandon the Rancho Santa Fe home that they bought in June 2005 because debt and liens account for nearly its entire $7 million value. A later filing by the trustee recommended they give up a $90,000 leased Porsche sports car and their $3.2 million home in Palm Desert, which is in foreclosure.”

The Tarkanians’ lawsuit describes Dyson as friends with Rick Hall, La Jolla Bank’s president, and says he attended regular meetings and events at the bank.

The bank’s “main owner,” Frank Warren, served as the landlord for several of Dyson’s real estate offices, according to the Tarkanians’ lawsuit.

“Because of the close connection between Mr. Dyson and La Jolla Bank, La Jolla Bank was well aware of the perilous web created by Mr. Dyson in which it aided Mr. Dyson,” the suit states.


  1. Suzy Frank

    LaJolla Bank did the same thing to our Fund. Used our monies to have one of their “investors” pay off his other properties. We have just filed suit.
    Rick Hall was the one who put together the entire scam program. Our attorney’s have just filed suit also against LaJolla. Perhaps we need to join forces with the Las Vegas people to see that we get our money back and these crooks can share a cell with Bernie Madoff. Thanks for getting this information out to the public. Gives me some hope that I can retrieve some of my retirement monies.

  2. Rafael sanchez

    So, if you felt this way……that La Jolla did the same thing to ” our fund ” my Mom included as an investor, why did you and the so called committee throw me under the bus?

    You knew exactly who was at fault he and it was not just La Jolla.

  3. Mister Groin

    The La Jolla Bank entity was a fraudulent scam from the get-go. The same cast of characters involved in nearly every San Diego scam over the past few decades, including the J David debacle. Investors really need to look at the histories and credentials of the principals and figureheads of these organizations before entrusting a penny to them.

    • Anonymous

      La Jolla Bank wasn’t a fraud! Rick Hall was! He was approving loans that obviously could not be paid off and he was taking home commissions in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. It was NOT the bank. It was the man many trusted to handle the role of CEO, Rick Hall.

  4. Anonymous

    Actually, upon further reading it looks like a woman named Amalia Martinez was involved. It wasn’t La Jolla Bank as LJB was a good bank; however, people who were overseeing the bank in management positions destroyed the bank. So sad. People are so greedy and crummy. La Jolla Bank was a really great place. It saddens me to see that it failed and was destroyed by people entrusted to manage it.
    Here is the link to the FBI site. https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/sandiego/news/press-releases/la-jolla-bank-manager-conspired-with-senior-bank-officials-to-issue-hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars-in-bad-loans

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