U.S. v. CLOUD
872 F.2d 846 (1989)
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
Ronald V. CLOUD, Defendant-Appellant.
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.
Argued and Submitted June 15, 1988.
Decided April 5, 1989.
Howard L. Weitzman and Steve Cochran, Wyman, Bautzer, Christensen, Kuchel & Silbert, Los Angeles, Cal., for defendant-appellant.
Ross W. Nadel, Asst. U.S. Atty., San Francisco, Cal., for plaintiff-appellee.
David T. DiBiase, Michael S. Robinson, Anderson, McPharlin & Conners, Los Angeles, Cal., for the amicus curiae, Continental Ins. Co.
Before WALLACE, ALARCON and HALL, Circuit Judges.
CYNTHIA HOLCOMB HALL, Circuit Judge:
Appellant Ronald V. Cloud appeals from his conviction following a jury trial on charges of aiding and abetting bank fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2 and 1344 (1982 & Supp. IV 1986), and conspiracy to commit bank fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371 (1982). Cloud also challenges the district court's order, entered pursuant to the Victim and Witness Protection Act of 1982, 18 U.S.C. §§ 3663-3664 (Supp. IV 1986) ("VWPA"), requiring him to pay $7.5 million restitution to the insurance company that compensated the direct victim of the bank fraud at issue in this case. We affirm both appellant's conviction and the district court order of restitution.I
The charges in this case stem from the January 1985 sale of the Cal-Neva Lodge, a hotel and casino complex located in the Lake Tahoe area near the California-Nevada border, by Ronald Cloud to Jon R. Perroton and Cobalt Capitol Corporation, a business association controlled by Perroton.1
Viewed in the light most favorable to the government, the evidence adduced at trial is as follows. Appellant Ronald Cloud is a sophisticated, 68-year old entrepreneur who has been in business for over forty years. He currently owns companies in the business of plumbing, irrigation, electric appliances, and grape cultivation. Cloud is experienced in the purchase and sale of real property and has extensive real estate holdings, valued at the time of trial at over $65 million. Appellant also has experience in the fields of banking and finance, having been the founder and chairman of Continental National Bank of Fresno.
In July of 1980, Cloud (along with his wife, Jessman Cloud)2 purchased the Cal-Neva Lodge for $10 million from Tracinda Corporation. To finance this purchase, Cloud assumed a $4.3 million loan with First Interstate Bank and Tracinda carried another $4.8 million in the form of a second mortgage. Cloud's equity in the Lodge at the time of purchase appears to have been approximately $1.9 million. After three years of mounting operating losses, Cloud closed the Lodge and actively began seeking a new buyer in October of 1983. Cloud's first contacts with Jon Perroton took place over a year later in December of 1984. At that time the two men met and orally agreed that Cloud would transfer the Cal-Neva Lodge to Perroton for $18 million. Cloud refused to sign any documents
with respect to the sale at that stage of their dealings.