Former Managing Member of Financial Group Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Investors of at Least $1.7 Million
FRESNO, CA—Bonnie Lynn Recinos, aka Bonnie Farr, 54, of Mesa, Ariz., pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, from April 2006 until August 2009, Recinos and others solicited individuals to invest in various business and real estate projects, promising them a return of 3 to 5 percent. She assured the investors that their investment was secured with the assets of Farr and Associates and Farr Financial Group, of which she claimed to be “the managing member.”
The conspirators sent fraudulent statements showing the progress of the investments and the purported amounts of interest earned to date. Periodic payments were made to investors using money received from new investors. This was done to lure in new investors, to reassure existing investors their money was secure, and to keep investors from reporting to law enforcement.
As a result of the scheme, Recinos obtained at least $1.7 million from investors, but instead of investing it, she used the money for her own business and personal expenses.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Henry Z. Carbajal III and Megan A. S. Richards are prosecuting the case.
Recinos is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Anthony W. Ishii on January 5, 2015. The maximum statutory penalty for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud is 20 years in prison. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
This case was done in connection with the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, established to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices and state and local partners, it is the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. For more information on the task force, please visit www.StopFraud.gov.