Financier Danny Pang, who died last Saturday while facing Securities and Exchange Commission charges that he perpetrated a massive Ponzi scheme, appears to have committed suicide, police said on Friday.

It appears to be suicide, said Newport Beach Police Sgt. Evan Sailor, though he cautioned that Pang's death would not be officially classified as such until the coroner makes a formal determination.

This was self-ingested, it appears to be most likely some kind of medication, Sailor said. This wasn't a gunshot or a hanging or anything like that.

In July, Pang, 42, pleaded not guilty in a Southern California federal court to two criminal counts of structuring cash transactions to avoid reporting them to the government. His trial date was recently pushed back until August 2010.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman and Dan Whitcomb)