Developer Admits Real Estate Investment Scam

admin —  September 18, 2012 — Leave a comment

David Romo, 42, Sacramento, California, a developer, pleaded guilty to mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering related to a real estate investment scheme that defrauded investors of more than $6.9 million.

As previously reoprted on Mortgage Fraud Blog and according to court documents, Romo, using his companies Sycamore Ventures LLC, Smarie Investments LLC, and Groupo Immobiliare LLC, solicited individuals to fund various real estate developments. Rather than using the monies for the intended purpose, Romo diverted funds to his own personal use and to pay unrelated prior business expenses. Romo told investors he had not suffered any adverse court actions, failing to disclose that he had been convicted of bank fraud in United States District Court in Sacramento in 2002. Court records indicate that Romo may have begun soliciting investors in the current scheme while he was on federal supervised release for his previous criminal conviction.

Romo is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. on November 30, 2012. He faces a maximum statutory penalty for a violation of mail fraud and wire fraud of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and a three-year period of supervised release. Money laundering carries up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and a three-year period of supervised release. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner made the announcement.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Russell L. Carlberg and Michael D. Anderson are prosecuting the case.

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