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El Monte developer accused of fraud, embezzlement [Updated]

June 22, 2009 | 10:51 am

An El Monte developer behind the city’s $1.2-billion redevelopment project has been arrested and is expected to be charged this week with fraud and embezzlement, police said today.

John Leung, president and chief executive of El Monte-based Titan Group, was arrested late Friday afternoon, said Capt. Marcy Vail of the El Monte Police Department. He is being held in lieu of $1 million in bail.

Leung, 53, is expected to be arraigned Tuesday on five felony counts of forgery, fraud, embezzlement, grand theft and burglary, Vail said.

[Updated at 1:20 p.m.: An earlier version of this post said there was an additional count, but officials say there were only five.]

Vail said Leung was suspected of defrauding two private citizens of “a significant amount of money or assets” in a complex financial scheme but declined to give further details, saying she did not want to compromise the investigators’ case. Police have been investigating Leung for about two months, she said.

Leung’s company is behind the proposed El Monte Transit Village, a 65-acre mixed-use development of retail space, residential units and office space, to be built around the El Monte Bus Transit Station. The company did not immediately return a request for comment.

[Updated at 6:45 p.m.: Police said they arrested a second suspect, Titan executive Jean Lang, around 10 p.m. Sunday. Lang, a resident of El Monte, will be charged with the same five felony counts as Leung, as well as an additional count of dissuading a witness, authorities said. She is also expected to be arraigned Tuesday.]

-- Victoria Kim