Defendant Who Scammed Investors Out of Millions is Sentenced to Prison
Pair of Fraudsters Pedaled Phony Medical Instruments
San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan announced today that Matthew Mazur, 53, was sentenced to 35 years and eight months in prison after a jury convicted him and codefendant Carlos Manjarrez, 59, of more than 30 felonies, including grand theft, securities fraud, theft from an elder, and tax fraud. The pair conspired to dupe 17 investors into fronting over $3.3 million for a device they called the 'SafeSnap.' Mazur was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Laura Holgren. Manjarrez, who hired a new attorney, will be sentenced in 2018.
“Bilking investors, some of whom are senior citizens, out of millions of dollars of their hardearned savings is reprehensible," DA Summer Stephan said. "Our Economic Crimes Division did an outstanding job bringing this complex case to justice over two years and providing the victims with closure."
The case was part of a joint investigation with the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Oceanside Police Department, and the California Franchise Tax Board.
“The FBI remains steadfast in investigating these types of cases to expose fraudsters who use deceit to take advantage of Americans who believe they are investing in a legitimate endeavor," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric S. Birnbaum. "Today and always, we would like to thank our law enforcement partners who work side by side with the FBI to bring these cases to justice."
Mazur and Manjarrez made material misrepresentations and omissions regarding U.S. Medical Instruments, Inc., claiming the company was successfully selling 'SafeSnap' syringes in the United States and overseas. SafeSnap syringes are described as disposable syringes in which the needle retracts into the syringe’s barrel after use thus creating its own Sharps container.
During the course of their scam, the defendants showed potential investors a prototype of the syringe but never manufactured it in a significant quantity as they purported. In addition, Mazur and Manjarrez provided false valuations of the company they were promoting to mislead investors. The majority of the investments they collected were used for personal benefit.
In addition, Mazur and Manjarrez would stage business meetings in plush offices in order to make victims believe that a large drug company was about to buy the defendant’s company.
A jury convicted both defendants on October 10.