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Justice News

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

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Rockland County Man Pleads Guilty To Defrauding Investors

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that JORGE PADILLA pled guilty today to defrauding victims of more than $900,000 by soliciting investments in a sham financial firm based on misrepresentations and fraudulent documents.  PADILLA pled guilty before U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As he admitted today, Jorge Padilla fleeced investors through lies and deception.  He lied about the very existence of the company through which he solicited investors, and he sent investors fraudulent statements to prop up the scheme.  Padilla now awaits sentencing for his crime.” 

According to the allegations contained in the Complaint and Information against PADILLA and other documents filed in federal court:

From at least in or about September 2014 through in or about April 2017, JORGE PADILLA orchestrated a scheme to solicit investments in a sham family investment office, Dunatos Capital.  PADILLA, a financial professional registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”), worked throughout the period at issue for large financial institutions.  Nevertheless, PADILLA, targeting Argentina-based victim-investors who had been clients of one such institution, claimed he had gone to work for Dunatos Capital, purportedly a family office managing tens of millions of dollars in investments.  In order to solicit investments in this sham firm, PADILLA made false representations, including claiming, for example, that Dunatos had tens of millions of dollars under management, was regulated by U.S. financial regulators, and operated out of non-existent Manhattan-based offices.  After victims transferred funds pursuant to PADILLA’s directions, PADILLA prepared and sent fraudulent statements about how the funds were invested.  PADILLA solicited more than $900,000 in purported investments in the sham firm.

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PADILLA, 33, of Haverstraw, New York, pled guilty to one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.  The maximum potential sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentence for the defendant will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Katherine Reilly and Michael McGinnis are in charge of the prosecution. 

Securities, Commodities, & Investment Fraud
Jim Margolin, Nicholas Biase (212) 637-2600
Press Release Number: 
Updated January 9, 2020