Updates to our Terms of Use

We are updating our Terms of Use. Please carefully review the updated Terms before proceeding to our website.

Thursday, April 25, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

$62 Million SoCal Ponzi Scheme Alleged

LOS ANGELES (CN) - The owner of Best Diamond Funding, a mortgage broker, ran the place as a Ponzi scheme that took $62 million from more than 2,000 victims, federal prosecutors say. Milton Retana, 43, of Norwalk, advertised in Spanish-language magazines, on the Internet and at weekly "investment seminars."

Retana faces nine counts of fraud. Federal agents busted up the scheme in October in a raid on Best Diamond's office in Huntington Park, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. They also raided the next-door religious bookstore, "Libreria del Exito Mundo" (The Bookstore of World Success), which was owned by Retana's wife.

Agents seized nearly $4 million in cash during the raid, prosecutors said. The FBI also froze $8 million in Best Diamond's and Retana's bank accounts.

If convicted of all counts, Retana, a native of El Salvador, faces up to 165 years in prison.

Categories / Uncategorized

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.