David Romo, 42, Folsom, California, was sentenced by United States District Judge Garland E. Burrell, Jr. to 10 years and one month in prison for mail fraud related to a real estate investment scheme that defrauded investors of more than $6.9 million.
According to court documents, Romo ran a sophisticated real estate investment scheme involving numerous investments that obtained millions of dollars through a series of clever misrepresentations to homeowners and manipulations of the real-estate purchase process. 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 investor money 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 began soliciting investors in the current scheme while he was on federal supervised release for his previous criminal conviction.
Judge Burrell, in imposing Romo’s sentence, noted that Romo was on home detention when he committed his current crimes, stating, “This is appalling. He does not respect the law, he does not get it…it is evident the public needs protection.”
United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced the sentence.
This case was 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 prosecuted the case.