BOSTON - A Los Angeles man pleaded guilty today in federal court to charges that he defrauded investors out of more than $5 million.
Lyndon Lydell Parrilla, 32, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge George A. O’Toole, Jr., to seven counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering for his role in the operation of Green Tree Capital.
Had the case proceeded to trial, the government would have proven that Parrilla, through Green Tree, solicited more than $5 million from customers, purportedly for the purpose of trading in the foreign currency exchange (FOREX) market. Parrilla traded, at most, a small portion of customer funds in FOREX and instead spent most of it on personal expenses for himself and his employees. To hide this fraud, Green Tree continued to e-mail account statements to customers purporting to show trading gains and losses. In many instances, the account statements showed that customers’ accounts had gained value through successful FOREX trading. In fact, Parrilla defrauded the Green Tree customers out of almost all of the more than $5 million they entrusted to him. As part of this prosecution, the government has seized from Parrilla a Mercedes S63, which is subject to forfeiture.
Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 25, 2012. Parrilla faces up to 20 years in prison on the wire fraud counts and 10 years in prison on the money laundering charges, to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which conducted a parallel civil investigation, referred the case to the United States Attorney’s Office and cooperated with criminal authorities.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation – Boston Field Division; and William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation – Boston Field Office announced the conviction today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarah E. Walters of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit and Adam J. Bookbinder of her Computer Crimes Unit.
This case was brought in coordination with President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes. For more information about the task force visit: www.stopfraud.gov.