Ex-Husband Of Missing California Woman Fears Disappearance Is Linked To Boss's $45 Million Fraud Scheme

Photo: Twitter
Heidi Planck

The ex-husband of missing LA accountant, Heidi Planck, says he fears her disappearance may be linked to her job and disclosed details about her boss’s alleged criminality.

Planck was last seen on October 17 and her son’s football game where her ex-husband, Jim Wayne, 63, says she was “edgy” and “antsy.”

After her 10-year-old son’s game, Planck disappeared. Surveillance footage showed her leaving home in her car with her dog later that day. 

Her dog was later found, alone, on the 28th floor of a high-rise luxury residential tower in downtown Los Angeles — 12 miles from Planck’s home.

Wayne has expressed his suspicions that Planck’s boss, Jason Sugarman, may know something about her disappearance.

Who is Jason Sugarman?

Sugarman is a managing partner at Camden Capital Partners where Planck is a financial controller, overseeing all employees involved in the accounting process.

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“Heidi knows all of Jason's and the company's secrets. She knows where the bones are buried,” Wayne said.

Sugarman was previously charged with fraud.

In 2019, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged Sugarman for his involvement in a $43 million fraud scheme that stole money from pension funds and left a Native American tribe $60million in debt.

The funds were used to “finance the acquisition of a global financial conglomerate of European and Bermuda insurers, and investment advisers based in Virginia and Connecticut" according to legal documents.

In 2020, Sugarman’s business partner, Jason Galanis, was sentenced to 189 months in prison for his involvement in the tribal bond scheme and several other fraudulent dealings. 

Heidi Planck’s ex says something is ‘dirty’ with Sugarman.

On October 21, after he reported Planck missing on October 20, Wayne says he got a call from an official with the Securities and Exchange Commission asking about Sugarman.

Wayne also says he had spoken with Sugarman’s assistant shortly after Planck disappeared and says the employer did not seem concerned.

“While I was on the phone with his assistant, I heard Sugarman in the background barking at his assistant to tell me, ‘make sure he knows I want my laptop.’”

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“There was no concern at all from my ex-wife's employer. It's a multimillion-dollar company, they didn't offer to hire a private investigator or put up a reward.”

He says he immediately handed the laptop over to the police. When he spoke to the assistant again, days later, he said the employee accused Planck of “siphoning off money from the company.”

Wayne says police told him Planck didn’t have a lot of money in her accounts.

“It was pretty low of Sugarman and his minions to accuse Heidi of basically embezzling when she's mysteriously disappeared,” he said.

Planck’s family say it is unusual for her to disappear.

“It's bizarre, it's so unlike her...People don't just go missing like that, you know,” said Planck’s mother.

Wayne stressed that Planck would not go this long without contacting the couple’s son, who will turn 11 in a couple of days. 

“She wouldn't let a day go by without talking to her son, there's no way,” he said.

On Friday, federal agents and robbery homicide detectives raided Planck’s home, reportedly expecting to find a crime scene. Several of her belongings have been seized as part of the investigation.

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Planck is not known to have any connection to the building where her dog was found but police are investigating surveillance footage. 

Wayne says he searched the parking garage of the building for her car but found nothing. 

Sugarman is the son-in-law of Peter Guber.

Hollywood mogul Peter Guber, is the CEO of Mandalay Entertainment and owner of the Golden State Warriors NBA team.

Sugarman is also a minority owner of Los Angeles Football Club.

Sugarman has not been declared a suspect or even a person of interest in Planck’s disappearance. 

Planck is described as having blond hair and blue eyes, standing five feet, three inches tall and weighing about 120 pounds. 

When she was last seen, she was wearing jeans and a gray sweater and was driving a gray 2017 Range Rover with California license plate U840X0. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Los Angeles Police Department's Missing Persons Unit at 213-996-1800. 

During non-business hours or on weekends, tipsters can call 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).

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Alice Kelly is a senior news and entertainment editor for YourTango. Based out of Brooklyn, New York, her work covers all things social justice, pop culture, and human interest. Keep up with her Twitter for more.