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Father and Son Sentenced in $930M Ponzi Scheme

David P. Meyer

Roberto Torres and Alejandro Torres were sentenced to 48 months and 46 months in prison on Wednesday for their roles in a $930 million Ponzi scheme orchestrated by Miami businessman Nevin Shapiro.

Shapiro, founder and president of Capitol Investments USA, pled guilty last year to securities fraud and money laundering in connection to the scheme, which involved the fraudulent sale of supposedly "risk-free" securities in a fictitious wholesale grocery-distribution business.

Roberto Torres, CFO of Capital Investments, and Alejandro Torres, an accountant at the company, are father and son. Both men pled guilty in April to helping Shapiro run the investment scheme.

In their plea agreements, the Torres men admitted to creating or ordering the creation of falsified documents that showed the grocery-distribution business was making money. In reality, Capitol had little to no income-generating business, and was using investor funds to make principal and interest payments to other investors. Shapiro also diverted millions of dollars for his personal use.

Roberto and Alejandro Torres were both ordered to pay $82 million in restitution with Shapiro in addition to their prison sentences.

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