(Phoenix, Ariz. – June 10, 2009) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced that Aaron Arredondo, 40, of Dana Point, Calif., has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted of orchestrating a $1.2 million investment scam.
Arredondo was convicted of one count of conspiracy, one count of fraudulent schemes and artifices and one count of theft, all Class 2 felonies, following a trial in Tucson in 2006. Arredondo did not attend the trial, and the Court issued a warrant for his arrest. In October 2008, he was arrested on the Arizona warrant by the Malibu, Calif., Harbor Police driving a 2007 Bentley that had been fraudulently leased.
According to investigators, Arredondo claimed in 2001 to be a successful investor and approached a Tucson man with the opportunity to invest in a lucrative prime bank note. Arredondo allegedly told the victim he could make great returns investing in the note via Arredondo’s investment company, Aspire International Corporation, secured by the Gilbert Family Trust.
The victim agreed to invest in this note, paying Arredondo an initial installment of $200,000, which was deposited into the trust account of William H. Randall, an attorney. When Arredondo and Randall presented the victim with statements indicating he had made a great deal of money, the victim increased his investment by $20,000 and later by $1 million.
This money was to remain in the Randall trust account until collateral had been shown to secure the investment. In fact, the money was spent in less than a month, with funds distributed to Arredondo and Randall almost the moment they hit the trust account. Arredondo used the victim’s money for personal expenses, including a Ferrari, Mercedes, Porsche and jewelry.
Co-defendant William Randall pleaded guilty to a class 2 felony and testified against Arredondo.
The scheme was uncovered when the victim’s civil attorney contacted the Attorney General’s office. A criminal investigation was conducted into Arredondo’s activities by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.
Assistant Attorney General John Evans prosecuted this case in Pima County Superior Court.