Home San Diego Press Releases 2009 Colorado Man Pleads Guilty to Obstruction of Justice in $10 Million Civil SEC Action

Colorado Man Pleads Guilty to Obstruction of Justice in $10 Million Civil SEC Action

U.S. Attorney’s Office November 13, 2009
  • Southern District of California (619) 557-5610

United States Attorney Karen P. Hewitt announced that defendant Donald Lopez (“Lopez”) pled guilty today in federal court in San Diego to an obstruction of justice charge related to his role as a Relief Defendant in an action brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, Case No. 08CV0764-MMA (the “SEC Action”). He entered his guilty plea pursuant to a plea agreement in United States District Court before Judge Michael M. Anello.

According to the plea agreement, the SEC Action alleged that Lopez and his company, Palladium Holding Company (“Palladium”), received $10 million that included funds obtained from investors through a fraudulent investment scheme operated by Matthew La Madrid (“La Madrid”) and his company, Plus Money, Inc. (“Plus Money”). Lopez admitted that in his effort to obstruct and delay the proceeding, Lopez caused his attorney to falsely represent on multiple occasions to United States Magistrate Judge Nita L. Stormes that he had liquidated “foreign” bonds to settle the SEC Action and repay all of the $10 million he received from La Madrid and Plus Money. Lopez admitted that he did not invest any of the $10 million he had received in foreign bonds.

Lopez also admitted that he intentionally attempted to obstruct the SEC Action by causing his attorney to submit a falsified bank statement to the court-appointed Receiver purporting to show that he had access to $134 million and by causing his attorney to falsely represent to Judge Stormes at another hearing that Lopez was not present at the hearing as ordered because he was in Albuquerque, New Mexico transferring the money to the Receiver to resolve the matter.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled before Judge Anello on March 1, 2009, at 9:00 a.m.

DEFENDANT Case number: 09cr2006MMA
Donald Lopez  

SUMMARY OF CHARGE

Title 18, United States Code, Section 1512(c)(2) - Obstruction of Justice Maximum 20 years in prison; Maximum $250,000 fine

AGENCIES

Federal Bureau of Investigation Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigative Division