In Miami, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging 34-year-old Larry Ramos Mendoza with defrauding investors out of more than $21 million.
What Happened: According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Florida, beginning from December 2013 through June 2020, Ramos convinced victims to invest their money with his company named The W Trade Group, or TWT.
Ramos lured clients by misrepresenting that the company’s investment strategy was based on a commodities trading algorithm that he had developed, prosecutors say. Clients allegedly were told they could earn investment returns as high as 19 percent, and that investment losses would be limited to 2 percent.
However, Ramos never invested the clients’ money, instead using it for his benefit, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Fake App: According to the indictment, Ramos created a TWT smartphone app to make the fraudulent scheme appear legitimate. With the app, clients could monitor the supposed progress of their investments.
When investors sought to reap the returns on their investment funds, Ramos used new investment money to pay earlier investors — the mark of a Ponzi scheme.
The indictment has charged Ramos with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and five counts of wire fraud.
If convicted, Ramos faces up to 20 years in prison on each count.
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