Boston - A California man was sentenced today to 97 months in prison for defrauding foreign exchange investors out of almost $5 million.
Lyndon Lydell Parrilla, 32, of Los Angeles was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge George A. O’Toole, Jr. to 97 months in prison and 36 months of supervised release, following his guilty plea to seven counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering for his role in the operation of Green Tree Capital. Parrilla also was ordered to pay approximately $4.6 million to his victims.
Parrilla, through his company Green Tree, solicited more than $5 million from customers, purportedly for trading in the foreign currency exchange (FOREX) market. Parrilla traded only a small portion of the customer funds in FOREX and instead spent most of it on personal expenses for himself and his employees. To hide this fraud, Green Tree e-mailed account statements to customers, showing fabricated trading results. Many of the account statements falsely showed that customers were making money through successful FOREX trading. Ultimately, 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.
Parrilla’s partner in Green Tree, Ryan Manzanilla has also pleaded guilty to wire fraud for his role in defrauding Green Tree customers. Manzanilla’s sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 14, 2013, before Judge O’Toole.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which conducted a parallel civil investigation, referred the case to the United States Attorney’s Office and provided critical cooperation to criminal authorities.
U.S. 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 sentence today. The case was 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.