GATES MILLS, OH (WOIO) - A former Gates Mills resident was hit with a 19 count indictment today, accused of operating a $9.6 million investment scheme.
Oscar Villarreal, 27, of Mexico allegedly defrauded investors and used the money to buy luxury items like a Lamborghini, Steinway Piano, and other items.
"This defendant used lies and deception to rip off investors and lead an extravagant lifestyle," said Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
His charges include 10 counts of wire fraud, seven counts of money laundering, one count each of securities fraud and investment adviser fraud.
"Mr. Villarreal utilized his charisma and bogus information to defraud hard working individuals," said Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Cleveland office. "It is believed that Mr. Villarreal has fled the Cleveland area and the FBI is asking the public to provide any information they have regarding his current whereabouts so that he may answer for his numerous years as a fraudster."
The fraud took place from 2008 and 2013, and Villarreal partnered with several corporations. He solicited money from them under the guise of investing in Mexican steel and petroleum industries, real estate and infrastructure projects.
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