Former Yuma Fun Factory owner testifies in Liddles' federal tria

January 24, 2012

Former Yuma Fun Factory owner testifies in Liddles' federal trial

Posted:

Phoenix, Arizona January 24, 2012  The prosecution's first witness in the AEA Federal Credit Union scandal testified how his one-time close friend ultimately took him down a path of insurmountable debt and foreclosures.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton presides over the case where William and Rhonda Liddle are charged on 68 counts of money laundering schemes and kickbacks, along with former Top of the Kress owner, Frank Ruiz.  Ruiz plead guilty last June is expected to testify against the Liddles.

Dan Thelen told a jury of 10 women and six men of business dealings he had with William (Bill) Liddle and his wife, Rhonda.  On the stand, Thelen testified that a close friendship grew between his and the Liddle's family.  Between 2005 and 2008, Thelen worked as a Information Systems Director at Yuma Regional Medical Center where he earned.  Thelen met both Bill and Rhonda Liddle in January 2006.  On the surface, both families had things in common:  two daughters of similar ages and all enjoyed family get-togethers.

The Thelens' Yuma home that they bought in 2006 had $60,000.  Thelen testified the Liddles buying a home with $413,000 in cash impressed him.    Bill Liddle, who was the Vice President of Business Loans at AEA Federal Credit Union at the time, had approached Thelen about becoming an entrepreneur.  

According to Thelen, Liddle gave him a loan to start Desert Capital Partners LLC in Yuma.  He also suggested that he purchase a property next to the Top of the Kress owned by Frank Ruiz.  Liddle eventually got Liddle to take on more debt and had him take out a loan for $3.3 million dollars to buy the Yuma Fun Factory.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Sexton submitted exhibits into evidence which showed checks written to Dan Thelen from AEA in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Under Liddle's direction, Thelen was to open a bank account at Chase Bank and then turn around and withdraw the same amount in $100 denominations and give them to either Bill or Rhonda.

The case against the Liddles continues all this week.  Judge Susan Bolton expects the trial to continue to longer that March 2, 2012.

-----------------------------------------------------

KSWT News 13 and The Yuma Sun are partnering to cover the AEA Fraud Trial in Phoenix and will have daily coverage on both KSWT News 13 and in the Yuma Sun, as well as KSWT.com and YumaSun.com.

Visit our special AEA Fraud Trial Section: http://www.kswt.com/category/230222/aea-fraud-trial 

Read Yuma Sun Coverage: www.Yumasun.com

  • Email Alert Sign Up

    Sign up here to receive breaking news stories from KSWT.com and morning updates to your email inbox.

    * denotes required fields


    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.

KSWT-TV Affiliates

Go to KSWT-TV's Facebook page
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Father beats accused child abuser, Daytona police say

    Father beats accused child abuser, Daytona police say

    Police say a Daytona Beach father beat an 18-year-old man unconscious after finding him sexually abusing his son. Authorities say the father called 911 early Friday after he walked in on the alleged abuse.Frolander motionless on the living room floor. He had several knots on his face and was bleeding from the mouth. Police said the father -- who was not identified -- told investigators he walked in as Frolander was abusing the boy. Police did not release the boy's age, but Frolander is charge...More >>
    Police say a Daytona Beach father beat an 18-year-old man unconscious after finding him sexually abusing his son. Authorities say the father called 911 early Friday after he walked in on the alleged abuse.Frolander motionless on the living room floor. He had several knots on his face and was bleeding from the mouth. Police said the father -- who was not identified -- told investigators he walked in as Frolander was abusing the boy. Police did not release the boy's age, but Frolander is charge...More >>
  • Yuma Shooting Victim Identified; Vigil Held

    Yuma Shooting Victim Identified; Vigil Held

    YUMA - Friends and family gathered outside Jimmie Dee's bar Sunday night to say goodbye to Frank Salazar, Jr. Yuma police are confirming the identification of the 28-year-old shooting victim, who diedMore >>
    YUMA - Friends and family gathered outside Jimmie Dee's bar Sunday night to say goodbye to Frank Salazar, Jr. Yuma police are confirming the identification of the 28-year-old shooting victim, who died outside the local bar early Friday morning.More >>
  • Reviews42 Raises Second Round of Funding; Rebrands itself to Zopper

    Reviews42 Raises Second Round of Funding; Rebrands itself to Zopper

    • Receives second round of funding worth 5 million from Tiger Global Management LLC and Nirvana Venture Advisors • Funds to be utilized in building product, team and infrastructure • The new name...More >>
    • Receives second round of funding worth 5 million from Tiger Global Management LLC and Nirvana Venture Advisors • Funds to be utilized in building product, team and infrastructure • The new name Zopper...More >>
  • National

    Obama warns of delay in social sec. checks and veteran's benefits

    Obama warns of delay in social sec. checks and veteran's benefits

    Web Producer: Lucy Valencia, Assignment Desk Editor WASHINGTON (AP) -- Declaring "we are not a deadbeat nation," President Obama warned on Monday that Social Security checks and veterans' benefits willMore >>
    Declaring "we are not a deadbeat nation," President Obama warned on Monday that Social Security checks and veterans' benefits will be delayed if congressional Republicans fail to increase the government's borrowing authority in a looming showdown over the nation's debt and spending.More >>
  • ARRIS Unveils New Additions to its European Cable CPE Portfolio

    ARRIS Unveils New Additions to its European Cable CPE Portfolio

    ANGA COM 2014 -- ARRIS Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) today is unveiling five new CPE solutions for European cable operators to transform broadband and video delivery in the home. These solutions address consumer demand for...More >>
    ANGA COM 2014 -- ARRIS Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) today is unveiling five new CPE solutions for European cable operators to transform broadband and video delivery in the home. These solutions address consumer demand for...More >>
  • Coming soon...Wal-Mart

    Coming soon...Wal-Mart

    On Wednesday the Yuma City Council voted to change the zoning designation on the proposed land acquired by Wal-Mart. The property located near the intersection of Avenue B and 8th Street was the home of a mobile home park as zones for residential use; the new designation changes that to mixed which will allow the new store to move in to the property. The new store will be the fifth Wal-Mart for Yuma County.More >>
    On Wednesday the Yuma City Council voted to change the zoning designation on the proposed land acquired by Wal-Mart. The property located near the intersection of Avenue B and 8th Street was the home of a mobile home park as zones for residential use; the new designation changes that to mixed which will allow the new store to move in to the property. The new store will be the fifth Wal-Mart for Yuma County.More >>
  • Shooting of San Luis Rio Colorado's police chief caught on tape.

    Shooting of San Luis Rio Colorado's police chief caught on tape.

    San Luis Rio Colorado--The murder of the public safety director in San Luis Rio Colorado is caught on tape. Mexican municipal police tells News 13 they do have surveillance video of the attack againstMore >>
    The murder of the public safety director in San Luis Rio Colorado is caught on tape.More >>
  • Supreme Court to Decide Legality of Drug-Sniffing Dogs

    Supreme Court to Decide Legality of Drug-Sniffing Dogs

    Two dogs, a chocolate Labrador retriever named Franky and a German shepherd named Aldo, should have their day at the U.S. Supreme Court. The court is scheduled on Wednesday to hear Florida's appeal ofMore >>
    The court is scheduled on Wednesday to hear Florida's appeal of two decisions by that state's highest court that found the detection of drugs by trained police dogs had violated the constitutional ban on unreasonable searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.More >>