Dallas Jury Sentences Man to 79 Years for Ponzi Scheme - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Dallas Jury Sentences Man to 79 Years for Ponzi Scheme

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    Dallas Jury Sentences Man to 79 Years for Ponzi Scheme
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    MIAMI - FEBRUARY 02: A judges gavel rests on top of a desk in the courtroom of the newly opened Black Police Precinct and Courthouse Museum February 3, 2009 in Miami, Florida. The museum is located in the only known structure in the nation that was designed, devoted to and operated as a separate station house and municipal court for African-Americans. In September 1944, the first black patrolmen were sworn in as emergency policemen to enforce the law in what was then called the "Central Negro District." The precinct building opened in May 1950 to provide a station house for the black policemen and a courtroom for black judges in which to adjudicate black defendants. The building operated from 1950 until its closing in 1963. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

    A Dallas jury has sentenced a Mexican national to 79 years in prison for operating a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors out of $4.9 million.

    The sentence imposed Friday on 54-year-old Juan Miguel Lopez represents a year for every one of his victims.

    The Dallas County district attorney's office says jurors deliberated for just 20 minutes before finding him guilty a day earlier of money laundering and other charges.

    Prosecutors say Lopez sold fraudulent contracts in which investors were promised a return on money that was supposed to finance small business loans.

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    Lopez made interest payments to some people using money taken from other investors.

    Authorities say he targeted Hispanics who were not otherwise able to obtain loans.

    Lopez still faces deportation to Mexico.

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