A real estate agent out of North Hills is facing trial in September on charges that she ran a Ponzi scheme connecting dozens of victims out of at least $1 million.
Celia Gallardo, 42, was arrested by FBI agents and charged in a 16-count federal indictment with wire and mail fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Gallardo allegedly bilked investors who put money into her purported year-long real estate investment program.
According to prosecutors, the woman told investors she would purchase condos in other states and that the properties would yield extremely high rates of return in very short periods of time. She promised as much as a 100 percent return in 30 days.
The indictment alleges Gallardo spent the majority of the money on personal expenses, including her home, travel, cash withdrawals and to repay earlier investors in her scheme.
Prosecutors believe the victims lost more than $1 million.