A former Ladera Ranch resident has been sentenced to three years and five months in federal prison for operating a real estate investment scheme while living in Orange County, federal officials said Wednesday.
Daniel Vazquez, 57, was sentenced Monday to 41 months in prison and three years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge James V. Selna, who scheduled a Sept. 16 hearing to determine restitution for victims in this case.
Vazquez has been in federal custody since December 2018. In May 2019, he pleaded guilty to two counts of mail fraud and eight counts of wire fraud. Prosecutors said Vazquez operated businesses known as Hoplon Financial Group and New Economic Opportunities Fund I, LLC, through which he offered and sold investments in real estate.
From 2010-14, Vazquez sold investments to victims who were told their funds would be used to purchase, renovate, and sell properties in order to generate returns, and that they would be paid returns on their investments no less frequently than twice a year, the FBI said.
Vazquez also lied to victims by advising that his own compensation would be limited to small percentages of investor capital and return on investment, as well as other nominal fees. Further, Vazquez falsely claimed that he would pay expenses and overhead, and that investors would receive a portion of profits from the real estate transactions.
Instead, prosecutors say Vazquez used investor money to renovate his home, buy luxury vehicles and pay credit cards, among other expenses.
According to sentencing papers filed by prosecutors, the loss to approximately 25 victims in this case, some of whom attended Monday’s sentencing hearing, was calculated to total $2,623,907.26.
The defendant deprived many elderly victims of retirement wealth they earned over a lifetime of work, many with no ability or time to re-earn the money they lost after years spent accumulating it, according to prosecutors.
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