FBI seeks La Habra man in fraud case

LA HABRA, Calif.

John Walthall, 55, failed to appear in court on June 27 and a judge issued a bench warrant for his arrest.

The FBI arrested Walthall in 2009 for defrauding an elderly couple from Laguna Niguel. The couple gave Walthall more than $4.7 million, according to the FBI.

Walthall is accused of targeting the couple in a bid to raise money for technology for finding old in abandoned mines. He allegedly told the couple he had already invested $3 million of his own money in the venture.

Walthall allegedly used the money given to him by the couple for his own gold investments, as well as spending it on personal luxury items, vehicles and child support/alimony payments.

A judge who suspected Walthall had been exaggerating a medical condition to avoid court time, according to the FBI, ordered him to appear in court June 27. Walthall did not show up and the judge issued a bench warrant for his arrest.

Walthall's trial is scheduled for Sept. 23.

Walthall is described as a Caucasian male with brown hair and hazel eyes, standing 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing about 195 pounds.

Anyone with information about Walthall's whereabouts should contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation at (888) CANT HIDE. The line is open 24 hours a day.

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