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4S Ranch Ponzi scheme
CrimeNewsSan Diego

4S Ranch man charged in Ponzi scheme, allegedly bilked $280K from friends

REGION —  A 4S Ranch man who allegedly orchestrated a Ponzi scheme that took more than $280,000 from people he befriended pleaded not guilty today to securities fraud, grand theft and forgery charges.

Rodolfo Villareal, 52, faces nearly 11 years in state prison if convicted of all counts, according to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office.

A DA’s news release regarding the case did not disclose specific details of how the alleged scheme worked but stated Villareal is accused of stealing $282,500 from two victims.

County jail records do not list Villareal in custody, but the DA’s Office said he was ordered by a judge Wednesday not to solicit or receive money from anyone for investment or loan opportunities.

“Bilking people you developed a friendship with is betrayal and a serious violation of law that devastates victims emotionally and economically,” San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan said in a statement. “If there are more victims of Mr. Villareal, we encourage them to come forward.”

Any investors who believe they might be victims of the alleged scheme were encouraged to submit complaints to

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