Women sentenced in Disneyland milk sale fraud
Two Diamond Bar women were sentenced Monday to three years in Los Angeles County Jail stemming from charges that they defrauded seven people out of almost $600,000 in a Ponzi scheme to sell milk to Disneyland.
Maricela Torres, 42, pleaded no contest to seven counts of securities fraud in a Pomona Superior Court room, according to the district attorney’s office. Juliana Celeste Menefee, 51, also pleaded guilty to the same charges.
Between June 2008 and August 2010, the women, along with ringleader Eva Perez, 52, told victims they were investing in a contract with the Alta Dena Dairy to sell milk exclusively to Disneyland. More than 30 people invested between $2,000 to $100,000, and victims were promised “extraordinary” rates of return, according to the office.
Perez pleaded no contest in April to seven counts of securities fraud and one count of using a device to defraud. She was ordered to repay more than $1 million in restitution and is now serving a 10-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to the same scheme in San Bernardino County, according to the office. The two women were sentenced to three years in county jail and ordered to repay the seven victims a total of $590,000.
-- Nicole Santa Cruz