Surrey man sentenced to 27 months for Ponzi scheme

Robert Castano must also pay about $1.5 million in restitution to those who lost money in the scheme

A Surrey man has been sentenced to 27 months in jail for his role in a Ponzi scheme.

On Thursday (Aug. 18), a B.C. Supreme Court sentenced Roberto Castano to prison for fraud.

Earlier this year, Castano pled guilty to one count of fraud over $5,000 against eight victims.

Charges against him were approved by the Criminal Justice Branch following a B.C. Securities Commission (BCSC) investigation.

The investigation into Castano was launched in September, 2009, following a tip from a financial institution, which believed Castano was raising money from investors through his company, Skyline Communications, according to a BCSC release.

He was investing that money into the stock market through a brokerage account.

The investigation uncovered that Castano was operating a Ponzi scheme.

He issued promissory notes, told investors their money would be used to trade in the stock market, and promised returns of five per cent a month.

The BCSC found Castano didn’t use all of the investors’ money as he said, but he used some to pay interest and principal payments to investors, and used some for personal expenses.

On March 30, 2012, Crown approved charges of theft and fraud, and on Feb 18, Castano entered his guilty plea.

In addition to the 27 months, Castano was ordered to pay approximately $1.5 million in restitution.

 

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