Ponzi Scheme Manager Sentenced to over 4 Years in Prison for Scheme That Stole over $1.5M from Victims in Visalia and Elsewhere
FRESNO, Calif. — Bonnie Lynn Recinos, 56, of Mesa, Arizona, was sentenced Monday by United States District Judge Dale A. Drozd to four years and seven months in prison and was ordered to pay over $1.5 million in restitution for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in connection with an investment fraud scheme, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, between April 2006 and August 2009, Recinos, who was doing business as Farr and Associates and Farr Financial Group, conspired with others to defraud investors of money. In most instances, Recinos offered individuals an opportunity to purportedly invest in a real estate project. Recinos told investors that the company was an investment group for business and real estate in Arizona, that their investment was secured by Farr assets, and that they would typically earn 3 –5 percent interest per month. As a result of Recinos’ false representations, investors gave money to invest in the purported real estate projects. However, instead of investing the money, Recinos used it for her own business and personal expenses.
As part of the conspiracy, Recinos would periodically have statements sent to the investors showing the purported progress of their investments and the interest earned to date. Recinos would also use investors’ money to pay interest amounts owed to other investors. Both the statements and the periodic payments lulled the investors into believing that their investments were legitimate, brought in new investors, and helped to avoid detection by law enforcement. Investors lost more than $1.5 million as a result of the fraud scheme.
This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Henry Z. Carbajal III and Megan A. S. Richards prosecuted the case.