Man accused of attempting to steal $7.5M from La Jolla exec faces court date
A July 27 preliminary hearing date was set Wednesday for a former certified public accountant accused of stealing $7.5 million from a La Jolla man who was found dead in his home earlier this month.
Kent Keigwin, 59, is charged with identify, grand theft and forgery and is being held on $2.5 million bail.
The defendant is accused of opening an account at a brokerage firm in the name of retired executive and biotech investor John G. Watson and transferring money from the victim’s account into the new account.
Watson, 65, was found dead in his apartment on June 8. Police called the death “suspicious.”
According to prosecutors, Keigwin was arrested June 11 when he showed up at Watson’s home.
“The case was initially handled as a possible natural death, indications of foul play were more subtle than normal,” said Lt. Kevin Rooney of the San Diego Police Department’s Homicide Division.
Noting the case is now being investigated as a possible homicide, Rooney said Keigwin is not presently suspected of murder. Only economic crime charges have been filed against him.
“He probably had victimized Watson,” said Rooney. “He had assumed his identity and siphoned off some of Watson’s funds to an account he had created.”
Rooney added the theft of Watson’s funds had been “frozen” to prevent their being transferred. “There is no loss to his estate,” he said.
The Medical Examiner’s office said an autopsy is continuing on Watson, a process that could take a month or more.
“A toxicology report has to be performed in house and that gets integrated into the autopsy and it can take four weeks,” said Rooney. “We’re waiting to hear from the Medical Examiner, and that will determine our next step.”
Judge Eugenia Eyherabide scheduled a readiness conference for July 21.
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