St. Tammany man charged with running Ponzi scheme pleads guilty
POSTED: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - 5:00pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - 5:04pm
Covington, La — A St. Tammany Parish man charged with running a Ponzi scheme pleaded guilty Monday to securities fraud, felony theft, and money laundering for luring his acquaintances into investing money with him.
Hugo Urrea, 54, of Mandeville, pleaded guilty in the 22nd Judicial District Court, Covington, to securities fraud, nine counts of felony theft, and money laundering in excess of $100,000.
Urrea, who was not a licensed securities dealer, began scamming clients in 2008. He deposited clients’ checks directly into his own accounts and used thousands of dollars for his personal gain.
State District Court Judge Allison Penzato sentenced Urrea to 20 years for money laundering, 15 years suspended; 10 years for securities fraud, five years suspended; and 10 years for theft, five years suspended.
The sentences are to run concurrently and include five years of active supervised probation. Judge Penzato also ordered Urrea to pay full restitution of $247,000.