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EL PASO, Texas – A man from El Paso pleaded guilty in federal court for five counts of wire fraud.
The man from El Paso is named Abner Tinoco, 27, and according to court documents operated a Ponzi scheme using his business by deceiving clients and claiming that he would invest their money in investment funds engaged with cryptocurrency and foreign exchange markets. Tinoco solicited approximately $9 million from his clients and deposited the money into his business accounts. He then used more than half of the investments for his personal interests and caprices that include luxury cars, private jets, real estate, and jewelry. To make the scheme believable, Tinoco used the embezzled funds as profits of his clients’ investments.
Tinoco is now facing a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and restitution. His maximum fine amounts to $250,000 on each count. The sentencing date for his case has not yet been decided and will be determined by a federal district court judge after putting into consideration the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The Commodities Futures Trading Commision (CFTC) secured a civil consent decree against Tinoco and his business, forcing a trading ban to halt trading activities of the business. This is another and a separate civil case rooted from the aforementioned scheme operated by Tinoco.
The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza of the Western District of Texas and Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey R. Downey of the FBI El Paso Field Office. The FBI is investigating the case and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Shane Romero and Chris Skillern are prosecuting the case.
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