MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FL – On Thursday, April 22, 2021, a federal grand jury in Miami returned an indictment charging 34-year-old Larry Ramos Mendoza (“Ramos”), the owner of a Miami-based financial services company, with defrauding investors out of more than $21 million.
According to the indictment, from about December 2013 through June 2020, Ramos and his co-conspirators convinced victims to invest their money with Ramos’s company, The W Trade Group (“TWT”). The indictment alleges that Ramos lured clients by misrepresenting that: the company’s investment strategy was based on a commodities trading algorithm that he had developed, clients could earn investment returns as high as 19 percent, and investment losses were limited to two percent. Once Ramos received the clients’ money, he did not invest it as promised and, instead, used it for his own benefit, says the indictment. It is alleged that to make the fraudulent scheme appear legitimate, Ramos created a TWT telephone application where clients could monitor the supposed progress of their investments. In fact, when clients logged into their accounts, they would see fake account statements generated by the application. When investors sought the return of their investment funds, Ramos used new investment money to pay earlier investors, according to the allegations.
The indictment charges 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. A federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
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According to the Mexico based newspaper, El Horizonte, as well the Spanish version of The Dallas Morning News, Mendoza is the husband of singer and actress Ninel Conde who denied any involvement with the business dealings of her husband. She also disputes the fact that she is married to the now defendant, saying they have been separated.
Juan Antonio Gonzalez, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Miami Field Office, announced the charges. FBI Miami investigated this case and The Florida Office of Financial Regulation, under Commissioner Russell C. Weigel, III, assisted. Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Perwin is prosecuting this case.