West Covina Woman Faces 86 Years For Ponzi Scheme

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A West Covina woman who promised investors up to 20 percent returns on their money has pleaded guilty in a nearly $7 million real estate and small business Ponzi scheme.

Guadalupe Valencia pleaded guilty Monday to six federal fraud charges claiming she bilked more than 150 victims who invested in her Downey-based Real Estate & Loan Consultants and R.E. Equity Group investment pools.

Valencia, 46, who was immediately taken into custody, faces 86 years in federal prison and fines totaling $1.5 million when she’s sentenced May 23.

From 2001 to 2009, prosecutors say Valencia promised investors high rates of interest from 8 percent to 20 percent in as little as 45 days.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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