A recent article from
The Press-Enterprise focused on the conviction of the final two defendants in a huge mortgage
and securities scam that allegedly took $142 million from at least 26
investors in California, including mainly those in Riverside County. On
Monday March 25, 40-year-old Hendrix Montecastro was found guilty of hundreds
of felony charges related to the scheme, including charges of white-collar
embezzlement and theft. Montecastro’s mother, 61-year-old Helen
Pedrino, of Murrieta, was convicted of 56 counts against her related to
According to prosecutors, the pair was part of a larger Stonewood
Ponzi scheme that lured investors in, largely through investment seminars, some of
which were presented as Christian-based investment strategies that benefited
charitable causes. Besides Montecastro and Pedrino, many other defendants
have already been convicted in the case, including Maurice McLeod, Thuan
Nhan Du, Cindi Gayle Kelly, Charlie Sung Choi, and the alleged Ponzi-scheme
mastermind James Duncan.
Pedrino, believed to be one of the main recruiters in the scam, will face
a potential 34 years in state prison at sentencing, and Montecastro will
face a maximum sentence of approximately 100 years in state prison. The
sentencing is scheduled for April 22 this year.
The securities fraud attorneys with Meyer Wilson represent victims of California
Ponzi schemes in FINRA mediation, arbitration, and litigation, and we
would be happy to speak with you about your options for recovering your
investment losses. Reach out to us today at (888) 390-6491 to learn more
and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.