EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — An El Paso man was sentenced in a federal court in El Paso to seven years in prison for wire fraud, according to the United States Attorney’s Office from the Western District of Texas.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Abner Tinoco, 27, operated a Ponzi scheme through his business by “soliciting millions of dollars of investments from clients and claiming he would invest their money into funds dealing with cryptocurrency and foreign exchange markets.”
Out of approximately $9 million worth of investments deposited into Tinoco’s business accounts, he spent more than half on personal expenses such as luxury cars, private jets, real estate and jewelry, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
“Tinoco furthered the deception by providing some of the misappropriated funds as profits to his clients,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office says.
In a separate civil case stemming from the above scheme, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) secured a civil consent decree against Tinoco and his business, imposing a ban relating to trading activities.
The Department of Justice is working to achieve additional restitution for victims of Tinoco’s scheme and a restitution hearing is scheduled to be held in 2024.
The FBI investigated the case.