Couple pleads guilty of defrauding seniors

August 14, 2008 5:45:35 AM PDT
A Blue Island couple accused of bilking elderly clients out of millions of dollars in fraudulent investments has pleaded guilty to 11 counts of theft. SanJaunita Arellano on Wednesday was sentenced by Cook County Circuit Judge Diane Cannon to 10 years in prison. Ernesto Arellano was sentenced to 8 years in prison.

The couple operated Arellano's Financial Services in Blue Island for more than 10 years. They offered 15 percent interest rates on certificates of deposit, falsely telling customers their investments were federally insured.

Prosecutors said the couple had hundreds of customers, many of whom had invested well over $100,000 each.

Prosecutors said SanJaunita Arellano was the mastermind of the scheme. She apologized to the judge for taking her time. Cannon rebuked the woman, saying she should apologize for scamming seniors out of their retirement money.


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