Crime

Texas Man Sentenced for Ponzi Scheme With $7.4+ Million in Losses

A Boerne, Texas man was sentenced this week to 135 months in prison and ordered to pay $7,424,927.10 in restitution for running a Ponzi scheme.

According to court documents, Victor Farias, 48, owned and operated Integrity Aviation & Leasing (IAL).

Farias, who lived in Fair Oaks Ranch, between Boerne and San Antonio, used IAL to perpetuate a Ponzi scheme resulting in net losses to victims of over $7.4 million. 

He also held part ownership in Fair Oaks Country Store, The Room Mens Grooming, Big Country Liquors, and Agabe Ventures Limited Liability LLC (now listed as a “Forfeiture Existence”).

The Rooms Men Grooming in Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas

Farias persuaded victims to invest in IAL by misrepresenting that investors’ funds would be used to purchase aircraft engines and that the aircraft engines would be leased to airlines for profit.  In addition, Farias also told investors he would not pay himself a salary or commission. 

Instead, Farias bought one aircraft engine and sold it shortly thereafter, making no profit for investors.  He used investors’ money to pay himself a salary, commissions, and personal expenses.  He also paid out false investment returns to prior investors and financed the construction of the Fair Oaks Country Store, a convenience store unrelated to the IAL investment.

Farias (San Antonio Police Dept)

On January 27, 2021, Farias pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.

“Through deception and greed this defendant stole from his victims, some of whom were retired public servants.  He deprived many of these victims of the restful retirement they worked all their lives to achieve,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff.  

“We hope the Court’s sentence  provides some measure of justice to the victims and sends a strong message to other fraudsters that their criminal activities will not be tolerated in our community,” Hoff noted.

“The defendant betrayed the trust of almost 90 people as he swindled them out of their retirement savings to finance his fraudulent investment scheme and his luxurious lifestyle,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division.

“This case is all the more repugnant because so many of the victims were first responders who had spent their careers putting their lives on the line to protect our community.”

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

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