Sacto 9-1-1
May 3, 2013
Folsom developer with history of fraud draws 10-year sentence

A Folsom developer who was soliciting investors for a new scheme while still on supervised release for a previous criminal conviction is headed to prison for investment fraud.

David Romo, 42, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. to 10 years and one month in prison for mail fraud related to a real estate investment scheme that defrauded investors of more than $6.9 million, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

According to court documents, Romo ran a sophisticated scheme involving numerous investments that obtained millions of dollars through a series of clever misrepresentations to homeowners and manipulations of the real estate purchase process. Using his companies Sycamore Ventures LLC, Smarie Investments LLC and Groupo Immobiliare LLC, Romo solicited individuals to fund various real estate developments. But instead of using the investor money for the intended purpose, Romo diverted funds to his personal use and to pay unrelated, prior business expenses.

Authorities said Romo told investors that he had not suffered any adverse court actions, failing to disclose that he had been convicted of bank fraud in U.S. District Court in Sacramento in 2002.

Prosecutors said Romo started soliciting investors for the latest scheme while he was wearing an electronic device on his ankle and under house arrest after violating the conditions of his release from prison after finishing the term for the prior federal crimes.

The case resulted from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation.

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