Former Ladera Ranch Resident Arrested in Connection with $2 Million Real Estate Scheme That Targeted Retirees and Other Investors
SANTA ANA—A man formerly of Ladera Ranch was arrested by the FBI July 11, 2018 in connection with a real estate investment scheme he allegedly operated while living in Orange County.
Daniel Vazquez, 56, was charged in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in United States District Court in Santa Ana on April 25, 2018. Vazquez was charged with two counts of mail fraud and eight counts of wire fraud.
According to the indictment, Vazquez operated businesses known as Hoplon Financial Group (Hoplon) and New Economic Opportunities Fund I, LLC (Neon) through which he offered and sold investments in real estate.
Beginning in at least 2010 and continuing through 2014, Vazquez sold investments to victims who were told their funds would be used to purchase, renovate, and sell properties in order to generate returns, and that they would be paid returns on their investments no less frequently than twice a year, according to the indictment,
Vazquez made several misrepresentations to victim investors with regard to how their money would be invested in real estate transactions. Vazquez also lied to victims by advising that his own compensation would be limited to small percentages of investor capital and return on investment, and other nominal fees. The indictment further alleges that Vazquez falsely claimed that he would pay expenses and overhead, and that investors would receive a portion of profits from the real estate transactions.
The indictment alleges that money invested by victims was used to pay unauthorized expenses for Hoplon and for personal expenses by defendant Vazquez, as well as his employees. Vazquez allegedly renovated his home, bought luxury vehicles, and paid credit cards with nearly $1 million of investor money, among other expenses.
Investigators have identified 25 victims of Vazquez’s alleged fraud, some of whom invested their retirement savings at the urging of Vazquez. Investigators estimate that victims of this scheme sustained collective losses of approximately two million dollars.
Although the FBI obtained a federal arrest warrant for Vazquez following the indictment, he was not immediately located; however, Vazquez was arrested by officers with the Tustin Police Department (PD) on unrelated charges last month. FBI Agents took Vazquez into custody today when he was released from the Orange County Jail.
Vazquez is expected to be in federal court today for an initial appearance before a United States Magistrate and is currently scheduled for the 2:00 p.m. calendar. If convicted of the charges in the indictment, Vazquez faces a statutory maximum sentence of 200 years in prison.
This investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office.
An indictment merely contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at trial.