A Texas man pleaded guilty today in the Southern District of Texas to defrauding investors that he solicited via social media by falsely promising high rates of return and low or no-risk returns on foreign exchange investments.
According to court documents, Kelvin Ramirez, 25, of Houston, used social media platforms to falsely promote himself as a successful trader of foreign exchange investments or “forex” and attract investors. Through his Instagram accounts, Ramirez marketed “investment groups” and “private accounts” that purportedly traded in forex and were managed by Ramirez. For both types of investments, Ramirez solicited individuals by falsely promising high returns on investments, making false representations about the risk associated with the investments and falsely guaranteeing returns on investment. Through his scheme, Ramirez fraudulently obtained more than $650,000 from over 100 individuals, and then used investors’ funds for personal expenses.
Ramirez pleaded guilty to wire fraud. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 9 and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. In addition, he has agreed to pay full restitution to victims, including a monetary loss of at least $687,792.93. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Inspector General Jay N. Lerner of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Special Agent in Charge Perrye K. Turner of the FBI’s Houston Field Office made the announcement.
The FDIC’s Office of Inspector General and the FBI are investigating the case.
Trial Attorney Laura Connelly of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section is prosecuting the case.
Individuals who believe they may be a victim should visit https://www.justice.gov/criminal-vns/case/Kelvin-Ramirez for more information.