Las Vegas man sentenced to prison for $5.3M wire fraud scheme

Updated June 30, 2017 - 10:46 pm

A Las Vegas man was sentenced Friday to more than six years in prison for his role in a $5.3 million scheme to defraud small-business owners.

Gregory Villegas, 37, pleaded guilty in March to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. U.S. District Chief Judge Gloria M. Navarro sentenced him to 78 months in prison and ordered him to pay $5.9 million in restitution for his role in the scheme.

From 2008 until 2012, Villegas and others defrauded at least 390 small-business owners by pretending to operate companies that would obtain grant funding for small businesses. Instead, the co-conspirators obtained advance fees from the victims and kept the money for themselves.

Villegas admitted to operating the scheme under multiple business names to deter consumer protection agencies and police investigators.

Contact Jenny Wilson at or 702-384-8710. Follow @jennydwilson on Twitter.

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