Dallas Man Sentenced to 17+ Years in Prison in $15 Million Fraud
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Texas
A Dallas man who conned 417 investors out of nearly $15 million was sentenced to 17 ½ years in federal prison, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Chad E. Meacham.
Rudy Avila, 69, pleaded guilty to wire fraud in June 2021. He was sentenced on Jan. 28 by Chief U.S. District Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn, who also ordered him to pay $14,955,313.00 in restitution.
According to plea papers, Mr. Avila admitted he defrauded investors in seven investment companies: Starwood Asset Management Fund, Commodities Investment Group International, Trading Technologies Group, Trading Ventures Group, The L.I.F.T. Group, Capital Ventures Group, and Ventures Group, LLC, none of which were registered with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or the Commodities Futures Trading Commission as required by law.
Instead of investing money in U.S. based businesses as he had represented, Mr. Avila regularly wired at least 90% of the investors’ funds to bank accounts belonging to coconspirators in Costa Rica or to make Ponzi payments to other investors.
In order to convince investors that their funds were controlled by U.S. businesses, the defendant registered multiple businesses with the Texas Secretary of State, filed sham annual reports from the businesses, set up U.S. bank accounts for the businesses, and rented office space in DFW.
At Mr. Avila’s sentencing hearing, Judge Lynn read the names of all 417 victims and their loss amounts into the record.
Two of his coconspirators, Eddie Alexander Contreraz and Ivan Aguirre, who both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud last year, are still awaiting sentencing.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Dallas Field Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Marcus Busch and Nick Bunch (fmr.) are prosecuting the case.
Updated February 3, 2022