ROCKFORD (WIFR) – A Woodstock man was sentenced today in federal court by U.S. District Judge Reinhard in Rockford to 136 months in prison for conducting a $7 million fraud scheme. Francis X. Sanchez (“Sanchez”), 52, co-owned and operated a business in McHenry County known as InvestForClosures. On May 3, 2012, Sanchez pled guilty and admitted he had fraudulently obtained more than $7 million from InvestForClosure’s investors.
According to Sanchez’ plea agreement, InvestForClosures purportedly bought distressed houses, rehabilitated those houses, and sold the houses for a profit. Sanchez admitted in his plea agreement that he solicited people to invest by making various misrepresentations.
Sanchez further admitted that, in order to conceal from the investors his false promises and misrepresentations, he told investors he was developing an exclusive luxury, residential community in Mexico known as the “Sands of Gold”. Sanchez solicited his investors to purchase lots at “Sands of Gold” and to invest additional monies for the project.
During the course of the scheme, Sanchez fraudulently obtained more than $9 million from the investors. Of this amount, approximately $1,711,711.18 was paid back to the investors through Ponzi type payments. In addition to sentencing Sanchez to prison, the court also ordered him to pay more than $7.8 million in restitution to the victims of his crime.
Sanchez’s business partner and co-defendant, James D. Bourassa, 55, of Gilberts Illinois, pled guilty to mail fraud on February 27, 2012. Bourassa was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison on June 11, 2012.