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July 04, 2006

Sambora's bad name

Sambora's bad name

AN Adelaide concreter who used the name of Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora to allegedly defraud banks and financial institutions of $37 million in loans has denied the charges.

Romeo Pacifico, 42, who legally changed his name to Richie Sambora, yesterday pleaded not guilty in the South Australian District Court to 86 charges of demanding property on a forged instrument and one count of false pretences through the use of false names and documents between 1997 and2002.
With his head bowed and dressed in a black jumper and tracksuit pants splattered with bits of concrete, Mr Sambora looked nothing like a rock star during his plea hearing.

The charges relate to loans obtained by Mr Sambora and two of his companies, Luxury Homes and Procreate Pumping.

The District Court hearing follows separate civil proceedings in the Supreme and Federal courts, in which the National Australia Bank claims Mr Sambora owes it a further $20 million.

Since action was first taken against Mr Sambora, financial institutions including First Pacific Finance and the NAB have repossessed luxury homes and cars belonging to the concreter and his wife, Mirella Pacifico.

In 2004, the Supreme Court issued warrants for the seizure of Mr Sambora's two-storey mansion at Newton, homes at Kent Town and Medindie, a $100,000 BMW sports car and a $64,000 Holden utility.

Forensic accountants spent months compiling reports on Mr Sambora's money trail.

The evidence will be used in his trial, which could start this year.

Ms Pacifico, who was not in court yesterday, has also faced legal action. The Bendigo Bank sued her in 2004 for $500,000 after she entered an asset purchase agreement to hire a concrete pump fitted to a Ford truck.

The bank alleged Ms Pacifico failed to meet payments between 1998 and 2002. Ms Pacifico argued that the machinery was leased by her husband's company and she did not know she had been listed as a director.

The matter was settled this year.

Posted by riesambo at July 4, 2006 07:43 PM