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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of California

Friday, May 10, 2013

Former Local Businessman Sentenced To Serve 12 Months And One Day In Prison For Defrauding Victims Who Provided His Business With Financing

Vincent Carlos, a self-employed business owner who purchases discount food and other products at wholesale prices and sells them for a profit to discount stores, such as Big Lots, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in San Diego by United States District Judge Anthony J. Battaglia to serve two concurrent sentences of 12 months' and one day in prison and a three-year term of supervised release, announced United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy. The sentence was based upon his December 6, 2012 guilty plea to two felony counts of wire fraud. In addition, Judge Battaglia ordered Mr. Carlos to pay restitution to the victims in the total amount of $335,106.80.

According to court records, Mr. Carlos, the owner and operator of L.J. Trading, LLC, obtained financing for the purchase of wholesale products from one victim in Illinois and another victim in California. In exchange for their financing, Mr. Carlos paid them a return on their investment. As part of the fraud, Mr. Carlos fabricated a series of deals, emailed and faxed the bogus contracts to the two victims, and promised a return on their investments. Mr. Carlos received more than $335,000 from the two victims in order to finance the fabricated deals. In reality, Mr. Carlos simply used the money to repay both victims for prior deals for which he owed them investment returns. Mr. Carlos used one victim's money to repay the other victim, and vice versa. Eventually, the scheme collapsed when Mr. Carlos was unable to pay the victims the returns he owed them. Before Mr. Carlos could defraud these victims out of more money, the U.S. Secret Service uncovered the fraud and swiftly put an end to it.

Judge Battaglia ordered Mr. Carlos to self-surrender to his designated penal institution not later than June 28, 2013, in order to begin serving his sentence of 12 months and one day.

DEFENDANT   Criminal Case No. 12CR3559-AJB
Vincent Carlos    

Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343 - Wire Fraud


United States Secret Service

Updated July 23, 2015