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Press Release

Mexican Businessman Sentenced to Federal Prison for Pyramid Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Texas

In El Paso today, a federal judge sentenced 40-year-old self-proclaimed licensed investment broker Roberto Trinidad Del Carpio Frescas to 235 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for carrying out a Ponzi scheme that resulted in an estimated $14 million loss announced United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Lee Dotson and El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen.


During sentencing, United States District Judge David C. Guaderrama scheduled a hearing on May 25, 2017, to determine the amount of restitution in this case. Del Carpio has remained in federal custody since his arrest in February 2015.


On February 19, 2016, a federal jury convicted Del Carpio of Chihuahua, MX, of 24 counts of wire fraud and ten counts of money laundering.


Evidence presented during trial revealed that the defendant held himself out to have superior knowledge and ability as an investor in stocks, bonds, futures in oil, gas, precious metals and currency. Though he was not licensed in the state of Texas as a dealer, or registered as an investment adviser, Del Carpio formed several companies in Texas including SMI International Institute Corporation (aka Stock Market Investment), Del Carpio Trading Institute LLC, and one in the Cayman Islands, Del Carpio Holdings, to facilitate his scheme.


From August 2010 until January 2012, Del Carpio and others collected money from over 100 known investors in Mexico and the United States. Del Carpio pocketed most all of the funds he collected though he did pay minimal amounts of money to “early” investors as a return on their investment and to encourage his victims to invest more of their money with him.


On March 3, 2017, Del Carpio’s co-defendant, 61-year-old David Brian Binder of Pittsburg, PA, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. By pleading guilty, Binder admitted to helping Del Carpio keep proceeds from the scheme out of the hands of potential creditors as well as lying to them about protecting their investments. As a result, Binder faces up to 20 years in federal prison. He remains on bond pending sentencing scheduled for 9:00am on June 1, 2017, before Judge Guaderrama.


This investigation was conducted by the U.S. Secret Service and the El Paso Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Ian Hanna and Stanley Serwatka prosecuted this case on behalf of the Government.

Updated March 15, 2017

Financial Fraud