SAN DIEGO (CN) – Ponzi scammer Matthew “Beau” La Madrid was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in federal prison or ordered to pay $23.5 million in restitution to victims of his Plus Money Premium Return Funds Ponzi scam and related real estate and mortgage frauds.
La Madrid, 44, of San Diego, pleaded guilty in January to federal charges of conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.
He led a scam that took $39 million from victims between 2004 and 2008. He claimed he would put the money into covered-call options trading, but actually used it for Ponzi payments, and took $7 million for himself by sending it to an account in the name of Vision Quest Investments.
La Madrid also was a principal in related real estate companies – Real Estate
Investment Group and E&M Property Management – which got him another $3 million to play with.
He got his hands on $34 million through 94 fraudulent loan applications, from which he took more than $1.1 million in commissions, while his victims lost $7 million.
“In total, La Madrid cheated more than 300 victims out of more than $26 million,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in announcing his sentence. “Beau La Madrid spent more than $786,000 of his crime proceeds supporting his lavish life style, which included purchasing luxury vehicles, jewelry, and art, vacationing, and gambling.”
Co-defendants Lance La Madrid, Eric Montiel and co-conspirators Kevin Fallis, James Hyatt, Mark Busby Christine Busby, Richard Kassler and Moises Pacheco have all pleaded guilty to fraud charges and are awaiting sentencing.