A Santa Clarita, Calif.-based real estate agent has been sentenced to five years in prison for running what prosecutors described as a “multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.”

Celia Gallardo, 42, told one investor who lost $500,000 that she was buying unfinished condominiums for pennies on the dollar in Florida and Tennessee.

Instead, prosecutors said, Gallardo used the money she obtained from victims to make payments to earlier investors, pay her employees, withdraw cash, pay personal expenses, pay her mortgage, and go on a luxury Mediterranean cruise with close friends and family.

In pleading guilty to wire fraud in October, prosecutors said Gallardo admitted that her scheme caused losses of at least $2.245 million to dozens of victims, most of whom were residents of California and Arizona.

Gallardo, who faced a maximum of 20 years in prison, was reportedly ordered to pay $2.389 million in restitution.

On April 23, the California Department of Real Estate initiated a disciplinary action against Gallardo, saying she faced revocation of her salesperson’s license for failing to report her guilty plea. Source: scvnews.com.

 

Back to top
×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription