Posted by LDS, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on Mar 12, 2009 at 7:20 pm
It has been a tought few months for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Pleasanton - murder in Castlewood, successful Prop 8 campaign, and now the Ponzi scheme. These are good people who deserve better.
Posted by Kiko, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, on Mar 12, 2009 at 11:16 pm
This guy they get, Martha Stewart they get...Bernie Madoff runs wild for years with a $65M Ponzi scheme and nobody even suspects. Time for the SEC to start cleaning house or let the FBI do it for them.
This is why WallStreet won't see 14,000 again. Too many people hurt by investment managers/advisors whose only advice was "stay the course" while 401k money vanished, and too many schemes that were just too good to be true, and they weren't
Posted by Tyler, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on Mar 13, 2009 at 9:37 am
Wow that was real big of you to utter such harsh words behind the cover of your computer. That was a cheap shot and you should apologize! To take the alleged and implicated example of one, and call it "a perfect example" of the religion as a whole is downright ignorant. Your comments are completely inappropriate and hurtful to a lot of great people. Yes Latter Day Saints are imperfect as all of us are but this case is anything but "typical". In fact most latter day saints are good people trying to be better. such comments bring shame to your name and diminish all credibility.
Posted by Ray, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Mar 13, 2009 at 9:54 am
Tyler, I'm very sorry that Mormmons put on a facade of morality and turn out to be hypocrites. Interesting that Utah leads the nation in internet consumption. Mormons are great at projecting an image of "family values", too bad they don't live up to it when nobody is looking.
Posted by AVHS Dad, a resident of the Stoneridge Park neighborhood, on Mar 13, 2009 at 9:56 am
They say you can't cheat an honest man. Most of these schemes are based on greed. There is no legitimate investment that can "generate returns of 3.5 percent per month with little risk of loss." over time, computer program or no computer program. Were these guys generating phony monthly statements? Annual 1099's?
This is no reflection whatsoever on the Mormon/LDS community. By and large they are some of the best neighbors one could hope for.
Posted by Qwerty, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 13, 2009 at 1:33 pm
"Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone"
It is extremely ignorant of you to project one person's failings on an entire group of which they happen to be a part. Would you say that all Catholics are bad just because of the actions of one or two pedophile priests? Would you suggest that one Jew who swindles people out of many millions of $$$ is therefore part of a group of which all members are swindlers? Your comments are extremely transparent. Think before you speak (or write).
Posted by John, a resident of another community, on Mar 13, 2009 at 8:50 pm
I worked with Ken Kenitzer in the mid 80's at a technology company in San Jose. As VP of operations, Ken did a good job managing our group, and he was always conscientious about doing what was right for the company and those who reported to him. When I heard the news last Wednesday, I was shocked that Ken was allegedly involved in a ponzi scheme - this is totally out of character of the man I knew 20+ years ago. Then again, 20+ years is a long time ago... If Ken is found guilty of this crime, I hope he goes down with the likes of Bernard Madoff. I feel sad for his family, but justice must prevail to help ease the pain of the 150 investors he bilked.
Posted by Michael T., a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Mar 14, 2009 at 1:03 pm
Yes, maybe both of these men are guilty, but if you ask me the investors are just as guilty! Shame on them for taking such risks with their money out of sheer greed, thinking they'll get a 40% annual return?! I mean come on, get real. Who earns that kind of return and still sleeps at night? Frankly I think they all deserve to lose their money for being so stupid as to invest in a fly-by-night scam as this so blatantly appears to be. I say give those investors the same punishment as the perpetrators!
Posted by PlstnTaxpyr, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, on Mar 14, 2009 at 11:43 pm
Probably because the federal government is guilty of running the biggest ponzi scheme in the history of the world called social security. The feds long ago spent all the SSI savings that retirees had paid into the system, so they're paying current recipients from the money paid in by the new working folks. Eventually what happens is that when there are less workers paying into the ponzi than the number doling from it, it blows up like madoff or this one. I don't see much difference.
Posted by Lisa, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Mar 15, 2009 at 11:23 am
Religious affiliation and race should not be brought up with accusations and allegations. The charges should be judged on their merit alone. Bigotry of any kind has no place in our judicial system. Stick to the facts and keep your conjecture and innuendo to yourself.
It serves no purpose other than damaging the credibility of whatever you have to say.
Posted by John, a resident of another community, on Mar 16, 2009 at 9:13 am
I also worked with him- he was a snake. He would smile and make nice with people and then talk behind their backs. He also would like to take credit for ideas and innovations when customers were in the building. Not surprised at all. I always knew he would get his, unfortunately innocent people are involved. Pretty low to prey on your
Posted by appalled, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 16, 2009 at 9:10 pm
Blame it on the federal government, blame it on the sec, blame it on whoever you can think of but the real issue here is someone who is a crook(yes that is the word crook)who has taken advantage of his friends, relatives, church supporters and who knows who the rest of the victim's may be. 40 MILLION Ponce scheme. Lock the door and through away the key. He is an embarrassment to all who know him. I cannot believe that he would do this to his family. Hopefully they did not know what he was doing.
Posted by mom, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Mar 16, 2009 at 10:38 pm
Innocent until proven guilty. Sometimes people are accused because they're in the wrong place at the wrong time, aka "guilt by association." Lawsuits have been filed where they shoot first and ask questions later. I'll reserve my judgement until all the facts are known and he is judged by a jury of his peers. Vasallo has admitted his wrongdoing. Kenitzer may be involved in the accusation only because he is a figurehead in the company. I understand some of his immediate family invested with Vasallo. I cannot imagine Kenitzer swindling his own family, let alone anyone else.
Posted by Saul, a resident of the Del Prado neighborhood, on Mar 18, 2009 at 5:06 pm
I knew Vassallo in High School. Awesome athelete, SEEMED like a stand up guy. I couldn't believe it when I heard. If you read the SEC report, this guy tried some shady stuff in Utah and got caught, then he took his show to Folsom. He seems like the progenitor of the scheme, Kennitzer might have just come along for the ride. Either way, both of them are scum and ruined peoples lives.
Posted by Just a Mom, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, on Mar 19, 2009 at 5:21 pm
I've had to really think about how to word what I was saying and feeling. I know Kenizter on an acquaintance basis only. He and his family are always such a pleasure to be around. They are very warm and giving people. I would like to reserve judgement that he 'knowingly' did something wrong when it could merely be 'guilt by association'. I would like to believe he was swindled as well, because I have a hard time believing he would have his immediate family invest hard earned money in a scheme that would benefit him only. Remember we only know what the complaint says and what the reporters report. We do NOT know the day to day conversations that went on between him and Vassallo. This just could be be guilt by association.
Posted by Friend, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Mar 23, 2009 at 6:55 pm
The Kenitzers are an amazing family, some of the best people I know. I have a hard time believing Ken would have knowingly done what it appears he is accused of. I will reserve judgement until the facts are known. I believe he is innocent until proven guilty. My thoughts and prayers are with he and his family.
Posted by Ponzi victim, a resident of another community, on Mar 29, 2009 at 9:38 pm
I'm one of the victims. I don't think I'm a greedy person, and I think if you were to ask any of my friends or family if I'm greedy, they'd confirm what I say. I'm not Mormon. I got into the "terrific investment" based on what I was told by elderly friends. They told me and showed me. I went to a couple of meetings and met Anthony (the crook behind the Ponzi scheme). He seemed so nice and so honest & trustworthy. I met people who were very close friends of my elderly friends, since childhood. I heard stories of first hand experience by some of these people who had complete confidence in Anthony because of their experience of investing with Anthony and receiving their profits when requested over a period of time, then immediately receiving their initial investments paid back in full upon request. Huge investments by my standards! This was their test of Anthony's honesty. This is just part of the story of how he was thought to be such an honest guy. Let's face it, we all know that some people know how to make good profits. We hear the saying that "It takes money to make money". With the charts and graphs that Anthony showed us, along with our knowledge that it's possible to see these profits if you have a good investing system, we were all taken advantage of. I know people who were retired and others nearing retirement, that continued putting more and more money into the EIMT investment because they were receiving their monthly draws on profits as requested, and still seeing their accounts grow. Now one very elderly widow lady is nearly penniless because of this Ponzi scheme along with other diversified investing that is no longer paying anything due to the economic downturn. She gave of what she had to help others, and now about all she has is her social security check. I don't consider myself wealthy at all. I got a very substantial blow as one of the Ponzi scheme victims, so now I'm much worse off and am wrestling with the decisions I must make with finances. I will survive though, as long as this economy allows me to remain employed. I feel sorry for the others who are so much worse off. There's a domino effect that I see as a result of this Ponzi scheme, with the victims now being unable to help others as they have in the past. The victims I know have been unselfish with their money and given freely to others. Call us greedy if you want, but think about it. Who is it who gives to those in need? Oftentimes it's those who are earning good money, by whatever means: their work, their business management, or their investing. In the minds of many people, I suppose greedy people are those people who are better off than the person making the accusation.
Posted by Mike, a member of the Donlon Elementary School community, on Jul 27, 2009 at 6:14 am
I have known the Kenitzer family for over 10 years. Look at the facts - Ken's own family lost money in this. There is no way he would have let his children invest in something he knew wasn't any good. At best he wasn't paying close enough attention to what was going on - but there is no way this guy was complicit in the fraud that took place. None. Innocent until proven guilty. By the way, why do you think the SEC isn't charging him criminally?
Posted by John, a resident of another community, on Aug 9, 2009 at 11:32 pm
I used to work for Ken at a company (Comments partially removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff as innuendo, hearsay or specific accusatory information unsupported by facts.). I guess he found an easier way to make money.
Posted by workmate, a resident of another community, on Sep 20, 2009 at 6:16 am
I worked with Ken for many years in the 80's at a high tech co. (Comments partially removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff as innuendo, hearsay or specific accusatory information unsupported by facts.)
Posted by MES, a member of the Lydiksen Elementary School community, on Nov 27, 2009 at 10:44 am
I've known the Kenitzers for as long as I can remember. This is SHOCKING and I think Ken is innocent until proven guilty. People like Ray (above) are the kind of skum-bags that we hope were affected by this swindling investment fraud. He is also a finger pointer and shouldn't be sharing his ill-mannered feelings on a public website. Grow up! Get some values yourself!
Posted by Jen Chesnut, a member of the Foothill High School community, on Nov 30, 2009 at 11:32 am
I have known Ken Kenitzer and his family for over 15 years and I can attest that if Ken is guilty of anything, it will be guilt by association. I do not think it is fair or right of any of you to judge Ken without all the facts. He is an honest and kind man and he and his family have given so much to so many people. I also do not think it is fair to associate religion with this, you DO NOT have the facts and you are far too quick to judge. Let's not drag an individuals name through the mud before all the facts, not just hearsay & rumors, are heard!!!!
Posted by Trisha, a resident of the Avignon neighborhood, on Jun 17, 2010 at 3:36 pm
To the person named "annonamouse" above, thank you for the update and Web Link... But please be advised that when a person pleads guilty, that still does not reveal the truth of what happened. Often times an innocent person will declare this to avoid leaving their fate up to a jury who could end up giving a much worse outcome. We still don't know the truth and cannot judge without knowing the FACTS.