A detention hearing that was supposed to be held in federal court Friday for the man authorities say is behind an alleged multimillion-dollar investment scam has been postponed indefinitely.
But in a different Bridgeport court, a recently filed lawsuit against Gregory P. Loles, 50, of Easton, sheds new light on the alleged Ponzi scheme Loles used to defraud St. Barbara’s Greek Orthodox Church and several parishioners and nonparishioners who chose to “invest” with Loles.
According to a sworn statement in the lawsuit, a St. Barbara parishioner said a California man blew the lid on Loles’ scheme after Loles failed to repay a $500,000 loan.
Ignatius Komninakas of Shelton said, in an affidavit that accompanied his lawsuit against Loles, that an unnamed California man gave Loles a $500,000 loan in 2008, which Loles said he would use for a donation to the church.
After about a year of failing to recoup the loan, the California man called the church directly Dec. 1 and demanded the church return his money, according to the Komninakas lawsuit.
The church, however, never received the $500,000 donation from Loles, nor knew anything about the loan, Komninakas said in his affidavit. Church officials, who previously had given Loles control of the church’s building and endowment funds, tried to reach Loles for an explanation, but their repeated calls and messages were not returned. The next day, Loles was admitted to a hospital for an “unknown reason,” Komninakas said in his affidavit.
The church’s attorney did not return a call seeking comment Friday.
Loles surrendered to federal authorities Tuesday and has been held since on charges of wire fraud and mail fraud, each which carry a maximum of 20-year sentences. The total loss from the alleged scheme is estimated at $6 million to $8 million, according to statements made in federal court.
Loles was held without bail because he was deemed a risk to himself and a flight risk due to his extensive travel history outside the country, and to allow authorities more time to freeze any remaining assets, said U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Tom Carson.
Carson referred comment on the postponement of the hearing to Loles’ attorney, Chris Caldwell of Norwalk. Caldwell did not return several calls seeking comment.
Loles will remain behind bars at least until a new detention hearing.
The criminal complaint lodged against Loles by the U.S. attorney’s office makes no mention of Loles’ wife, but the lawsuit filed by Ignatius and Christina Komninakas holds Kalliopi Loles accountable along with her husband.
The Loleses both were present when the Komninakases met to discuss their investments, and Kalliopi Loles is listed as the secretary of Greg Loles’ company, Apeiron Capital Management, the lawsuit claims.
The woman who answered the phone at the Loleses’ house at 451 Judd Road, Easton, hung up when told she was speaking to a reporter.
Komninakas says in the lawsuit he invested about $175,000 with Loles and was promised a steady return of 11 percent from the “Knightsbridge Fund.” Loles promised the Komninakases that their principal investment would never be at risk, the lawsuit says.
The Komninakases received monthly dividend payments of $434.38 and financial statements from February 2005 to August 2007 based on their initial investment of $75,000. In July 2007, the Komninakases upped their investment by $100,000, and received from September 2007 to October 2007 monthly payments dividend payments of $1,013.54, the lawsuit says.
In February, June and August, the Komninakases tried to pull their money out, and Loles agreed, but never did.
The details contained in the investment promises are consistent with those described by the criminal complaint, in which three unnamed investors were defrauded out of about $2 million. Loles used investors’ money for personal use and to fund his Danbury auto shop and professional race team Farnbacher Loles Motorsports, according to court documents.
The church losses and losses of other still unnamed investors could push the total alleged fraud past $8 million, sources said.
The Komninakases’ lawyer, Dennis Kokenos of Trumbull, declined to comment on the lawsuit.