Irvine Real Estate Firm Pleads Guilty to Fraud Scheme

The owner of an Irvine real estate firm has pleaded guilty in a house-flipping scheme that bilked 25 victims out of $2 million, a federal prosecutor said Wednesday.

Daniel B. Vazquez Sr., 56, formerly of Ladera Ranch, pleaded guilty April 17 to 10 counts of mail and wire fraud, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Staples.

Vazquez entered the plea without an agreement with prosecutors, Staples said. His attorney, Dean Steward, was not immediately available for comment.

The defendant, who is scheduled to be sentenced July 8, faces up to 200 years in federal prison.

Vazquez, who was indicted in April of last year, was arrested in July when he was released from jail on unrelated drug charges, according to the FBI.

Vazquez operated Hoplon Financial Group and New Economic Opportunities Fund I LLC.

Vazquez sold investments from 2010 through 2014, according to the FBI.

He told investors their money would be used to acquire, renovate and sell properties for profit and that they would receive returns on the investments at least twice a year, the FBI said.

Vazquez used some of the investor money on unauthorized expenses for Hoplon and to cover his own personal expenses, the FBI said. The defendant spent $1 million in the investor money to renovate his home, buy luxury cards and pay off credit cards, the FBI said.

The FBI said there were 25 victims in the case, including some who invested retirement savings. The losses are estimated to be about $2 million, according to the FBI.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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