SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) – A man accused of lavishly spending millions of dollars of his investors’ money has been tentatively ordered to repay $22 million in the alleged swindle.

James R. Halstead and his company, GamePlan, Inc., must repay the money to some 80 investors, U.S. District Judge David O. Carter wrote in a tentative summary judgment filed Monday. The ruling had not been finalized as of Wednesday.

In June, Halstead was cleared of charges that he administered the date-rape drug Nimetazepam to former Olympic ice dancing champion Oksana Grishuk after tests of her blood showed no trace of the drug. The Russian skater had said she found pills dissolved in drinks she had with Halstead.

The fraud lawsuit claimed that from 2004 to 2006, Halstead and others took investor money for securities known as private investment in public equity, or PIPEs, promising returns of up to 40 percent.

None of the money was invested. Halstead, 61, of Santa Ana, instead used it for a lavish lifestyle that included $12 million in real estate and hundreds of thousands of dollars in jewelry that he lost in a taxi in Arizona “and never reported to police,” the judge said in his tentative ruling.

Halstead also placed $389,000 in a deferred compensation plan for his wife, who was listed as an officer of his company, and “showered his mistress with large sums of money and expensive gifts” that totaled about $750,000 in 2006, Carter wrote.

A call to Halstead’s attorney was not immediately returned Wednesday.

Steven L. Krongold, an attorney who represented some of the investors in the lawsuit, said he would seek $44 million more in punitive damages against Halstead, who could potentially face criminal charges.

The suit also named Halstead’s former lawyer, Jeanne Rowzee, but she settled last month by agreeing to pay part of the $22 million in compensation plus $44 million in punitive damages, Krongold said.

Criminal charges of conspiracy and securities fraud also were filed against Rowzee but she struck a plea agreement that is confidential and was free on bond.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.