|For Immediate Release
Case # 09HF0772
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
HARD MONEY LENDER SENTENCED TO 18 YEARS
IN PRISON FOR STEALING OVER $2.6 MILLION
FROM INVESTORS IN PONZI AND
REAL ESTATE FRAUD SCHEME
SANTA ANA – A hard money lender was sentenced yesterday to 18 years in state prison for stealing $2.6 million from investors in a Ponzi and real estate fraud scheme. Joseph Anthony Veltre, 68, Orange, pleaded guilty to a court offer to 112 felony counts including 60 counts of grand theft, 17 counts of elder financial exploitation by a non-caregiver, 17 counts of residential burglary, 13 counts of forgery, three counts of recording false documents, one count of commercial burglary, one count of identity theft, and white collar crime sentencing enhancements for loss over $500,000. Veltre was sentenced to 18 years in state prison and ordered to pay over $2,649,000 in restitution.
Between 2002 and 2007, Veltre defrauded eight people in a Ponzi and real estate fraud scheme. A “Ponzi” scheme is a fraudulent scheme that offers investors high, short-term returns on investments. Instead of using the money to generate actual income and legitimate profits, the money from the investors is kept for the benefit of the defendant or used to repay earlier investors.
Using his two Orange County-based businesses, Sea View Financial and Allied Corporate Investments, Veltre operated as a hard money lender by soliciting money from private investors for borrowers looking for funds from non-bank lenders. The term “hard money lender” is used when a lender solicits money from private investors for borrowers looking for funds from non-bank lenders. He stole from his private investors, most of whom are now retired and elderly, by keeping the money they lent for borrowers looking to take out second and third mortgages and not funding the loan as promised. Veltre operated a Ponzi scheme and used funds from new investors to pay off older investors.
The Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD) began investigating Veltre after receiving complaints from some of the victims and arrested him on May 4, 2009.
Written victim impact statements were submitted to the court for consideration at sentencing. One victim, a volunteer with the NBPD, stated that, “At my age of 92, there is little, if any, hope of recovery, and of course my living expenses had to be drastically reduced as well as very little left in my will to the children.” Another victim wrote that Veltre’s fraud has impacted his ability to help and to educate his grandchildren.
Deputy District Attorney George McFetridge of the White Collar Crime Team prosecuted this case.