Roland E. Arnall (March 29 1939 – March 17 2008) was a French-born American businessman and diplomat. As the owner of ACC Capital Holdings, he became a billionaire with Ameriquest Mortgage. He was co-founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and from 2006 until shortly before his death he was the United States Ambassador to the Netherlands.
The ex-wife of Ameriquest Mortgage Co. founder and ambassador nominee Roland Arnall is asking a judge to approve an investigation into her former husband's finances to secure a higher divorce settlement - seven years after the marriage ended.
In court papers, Sally Arnall claims the billionaire businessman concealed his true wealth when their 37-year marriage ended and also pressured her into accepting an inadequate settlement.
Superior Court Judge Richard E. Denner on Wednesday is scheduled to hear a motion by Roland Arnall's attorney to limit the scope of the investigation.
Roland Arnall declined to discuss the case with the Los Angeles Times, saying it was a "personal and private family matter."
The 1998 divorce garnered little attention until June, when Sally Arnall filed papers to reopen proceedings, claiming she still has most of the $11 million and two homes in Los Angeles and Palm Springs she received in the settlement. The couple separated in 1996.
"However," she said in her recent declaration, "I believe I was misled and that I received substantially less than my share of the financial empire we amassed during our marriage."
Roland Arnall, whose nomination by President George W. Bush last month to be ambassador to the Netherlands awaits U.S. Senate confirmation, is facing other problems.
Orange-based Ameriquest has been investigated by 30 states over its lending practices, prompting the company last month to set aside $325 million for potential settlements.
Arnall failed to make a series of required legal disclosures, including expansion plans of his business empire, said his ex-wife's attorney, Vicki Greene.
In the 2003-2005 period, Arnall and his wife raised more than $12 million for George W. Bush's political efforts, including $5 million for the Progress for America Voter Fund, a self-proclaimed "conservative issue advocacy organization dedicated to keeping the issue record straight."
Mrs. Arnall also served as a co-chair for the 2004 Republican Convention and hosted a $1 million Bush-Cheney fund-raiser at the couple's 10-acre home in Holmby Hills. In 2005, Ameriquest Capital and three of its subsidiaries comprised four of the 53 entities that each contributed the maximum of $250,000 to the second inauguration of President George W. Bush. Writes USA Today, "Inaugural fundraisers Dawn and Roland Arnall found a creative way to pump more than the $250,000 limit into the event. Their mortgage firm, Ameriquest Capital, contributed the maximum, as did three subsidiaries, for a total of $1 million. The company declined to comment on its political giving.
In order to circumvent campaign finance laws, Arnall mandated that Ameriquest staffers, on company time, solicit campaign contributions from vendors and directed to selected candidates, including Antonio Villaregosa, now Mayor of Los Angeles, CA.
Arnall announced his resignation as ambassador on February 21 2008, effective on March 7, citing the ill health of his son. A few weeks later, on March 17 2008, Arnall died of cancer according to FOX Business at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, twelve (12) days shy of his 69th birthday.
Many believe that Arnall faked his own death, in order to avoid investigation and imprisonment by the FBI for his involvement in a litany of mortgage fraud cases. A naturalized Israeli citizen, he may have fled to Israel to escape any possibility of prosecution. He had recently settled a $325,000,000.00 fraud lawsuit; however, it is believed he - or his next of kin - still retain billions of dollars from dirty mortgage loans.