Former loan officer sentenced to prison in federal fraud case

A former Henderson loan officer was sentenced Friday to 6½ years in prison in a $1 million investment scheme involving the foreign currency exchange market.

Kamalu Gonzales, 47, must also serve five years of supervised release after prison and pay more than $830,000 in restitution.

U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro gave Gonzales until April 17 to report to federal prison auth0rities.

Gonzales pleaded guilty in August to two counts of mail fraud, six counts of wire fraud, and two counts of money laundering.

In 2007 and 2008, Gonzales worked as a loan officer for Meridias Capital in Henderson helping people put false information on loan applications to refinance their homes and obtain extra cash, according to federal prosecutors.

He billed himself as a successful investor and trader in the foreign currency exchange market and recruited people to invest with him in the market. Gonzales received roughly $1 million from 16 investors in 2007 and 2008 and diverted $410,000 to himself, prosecutors said.

With the promise of high return rates, some victims borrowed money from their retirement funds or lines of credit. Gonzales convinced some of the people who refinanced their homes to give him cash from the refinancing to invest in the scheme.

The case was investigated by the FBI, IRS and the Henderson police.


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