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Terry Goddard Announces Phoenix Man Given 3.5-Year Prison Term For Running Multi-Million-Dollar Investment Scam

(Phoenix, Ariz. - Oct. 15, 2010) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced that Guillermo Ricardo De La Vara, 68, of Phoenix, has been sentenced in Maricopa County Superior Court to three-and-a-half years in prison on charges of theft and fraudulent schemes and artifices.

Over a two-year period from 2005 to 2007, De La Vara fraudulently obtained millions of dollars from investors by selling promissory notes and interests in deeds of trust, called “lien investments” though his companies, “Mortgage Notes, Inc.” and “MNI Properties, LLC.” De La Vara falsely claimed that these lien investments were secured by real property, and would be appropriately recorded. However, neither De La Vara nor his companies had any legal right to the properties covered by many of the lien investments, and investors did not receive the monthly payments from the investments that they were promised.

De La Vara was indicted on 80 counts, including 19 counts of theft, one count of fraud, two counts of forgery, one count of illegal control of an enterprise and 57 counts of securities law violations.

In addition to prison time, De La Vera will be placed on seven years of probation upon his release. He is also required to pay the 26 investor-victims in the case restitution of $5.7 million and pay $125,000 in administrative penalties to the Arizona Corporation Commission.

The investigation of the case was led by Special Agents of the Securities Division of the Arizona Corporation Commission, and the case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Michael Flynn.

A copy of De la Vera’s photo is attached. For more information, contact Mika Marquart at (602) 542-7714.

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