[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
82°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
October 21-22
2007 - Buckweed fire chars 38,000 acres, destroys 21 homes in Canyon Country and Agua Dulce [story]


Celia Gallardo

Celia Gallardo

A onetime Santa Clarita Realtor who bilked investors out of millions in the Santa Clarita, San Fernando and Antelope valleys, was sentenced to 60 months, a federal prosecutor said Monday.

In a plea agreement made Oct. 12, 2012, Celia Gallardo, 42, of North Hills, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.

“We are pleased with the outcome,” said Sarah J. Heidel, assistant U.S. attorney. “I think that in this case, the judge was compelled by the fact that it was a straight rip-off.”

In many fraud prosecutions, there is often the hope, albeit small or unlikely, that there may be a return for investors, she said.

But there wasn’t “a kernel of hope” for investors, Heidel said, noting that the U.S. government was recommending a sentence of 41 months, and Judge Doug Pregerson went above and beyond that with his sentence as a result.

The federal criminal justice system does not allow for parole, and all criminals must serve at least 85 percent of their sentence, said Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Pregerson also ordered restitution for Gallardo’s victims.

“The court ordered $2,389,400 in restitution tied to specific losses,” Heidel said. “Upon her release, (Gallardo) will be obligated to start paying that money back.”

The plea agreement also called for full restitution, which was estimated at $2,245,000, according to a plea agreement made with U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte last year.

The agreement notes that Gallardo willfully misled investors in the Santa Clarita, Valencia and Newhall areas, into believing she was a real estate agent who could secure very high rates of return for investments.

“She would get investors like myself and she’d tell us that she’d triple our money within 90 days,” said Robert Montoya, a former Saugus resident who now lives in Sylmar.

Montoya wants to make sure that Gallardo isn’t able to ever victimize anyone else ever again, whenever she is eventually released.

“I just want to make sure that for the record, it’s publicly known and it doesn’t get swept under the rug,” Montoya said. “I want to make sure that it’s out there and she gets branded and it’s on every search engine.”

Gallardo operated the companies Gold Feather Realty and Gold Credit Investments from September 2007 to September of 2008 to further this fraud, according to court documents.

Instead of investing the money in the phony promissory notes, she guaranteed to investors, she spent the “great majority of it on her personal residence, personal purchases, foreign luxury travel, cash withdrawals” and, in pyramid scheme-like fashion, to pay back earlier investors.

Under federal guidelines, the base offense level is 7, on a scale of 0-43. The fact that the loss was more than $1 million adds a factor of 16, and the fact that there was more than 10 victims adds a factor of 2.

The terms of the negotiation include a reduction of 2, or possibly 3, which approximate Gallardo’s offense level at 23.

This would indicate a sentence in the range of 46-57 months, assuming no prior convictions. However, a judge is not obligated to follow these guidelines, Mrozek said.

The federal criminal justice system does not allow for parole, and all criminals must serve at least 85 percent of their sentence, Mrozek added.

Gallardo was living in North Hills at the time of her plea deal, according to documents.

Gallardo also is listed as a founder or president of several businesses in the Santa Clarita Valley, including Women’s Personal and Financial Empowerment Seminars, Quick Appraisals, Quick Notary (which was suspended by the Franchise Tax Board in January 2006), Gold Feather Realty, Inc. (which was suspended by the California Franchise Tax Board in March 2008), Dare To Dream Marketing, CSC Lawyers Incorporating Services and is a part owner of To Go Services, LLC, a restaurant delivery service. In the Antelope Valley, she is listed as the president of eppraisals, Gallardo Property Management (which shows a “Desist and Refrain” order from the California Department of Real Estate as of May 2003) and Casa Bella Mortgage, Inc.

While several of her companies websites claim she is a Realtor and a real estate broker, handouts for Gold Credit Investments carry a tiny disclaimer at the bottom of the page that says Gallardo is not a Realtor or broker, but merely a “facilitator.”

Her sentencing was previously scheduled for March, and then moved to April and then May, according to court records.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

1 Comment

  1. stockbroker says:

    For a great narrative on Thanksgiving and its origins – see John Lawrence Allen – http://scvnews.com

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
Loading...
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Friday, Oct 20, 2017
Heat Alert for SCV, L.A. County on Monday, Tuesday
The Los Angeles County Health Officer has issued a heat alert as high temperatures have been forecast for the Los Angeles Basin on Monday, October 23 through Tuesday, October 24.
Friday, Oct 20, 2017
Nearly $3.4 Billion in Transportation Projects to Be Accelerated
Caltrans added nearly 1,200 lane miles of pavement repair and 66 bridges to its growing list of projects to be delivered sooner than planned, thanks to the imminent influx of revenue from the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 (SB 1), the transportation funding and reform package passed in April.
Friday, Oct 20, 2017
SCV Deputies Check Probationers, Aid in Domestic Violence Call
Crime Prevention deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station along with Los Angeles County Probation Department officers conducted probation compliance searches Friday throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
2007 - Buckweed fire chars 38,000 acres, destroys 21 homes in Canyon Country and Agua Dulce [story]
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, a sexual assault suspect was arrested Thursday night. Plus, some great weekend events. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Friday, October 20, 2017
Forever Fit SCV, a Santa Clarita sports and personal fitness training company, will host a "Pumpkin Workout" at its Centre Pointe location on Saturday, October 28, starting at 9 a.m.
Oct. 25: Pumpkin Workout Benefits American Cancer Society
The next regular meeting of the Governing Board of the William S. Hart Union High School District is set for Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.
Oct. 25: Hart School District Governing Board Meeting
The LA County Public Defender has won the Silver Eagle Award for its Public Defender Jail Liaison Program during the 31st Annual Productivity and Quality Awards Ceremony on Oct. 18 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
LA County Public Defender Soars with Silver Eagle Award
The Los Angeles County Health Officer has issued a heat alert as high temperatures have been forecast for the Los Angeles Basin on Monday, October 23 through Tuesday, October 24.
Heat Alert for SCV, L.A. County on Monday, Tuesday
The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has received three major gifts toward the creation of the museum in Los Angeles, bringing fundraising to more than $300M, nearly 80 percent of its $388M campaign goal.
Motion Picture Museum Nears $388M Campaign Goal
Caltrans added nearly 1,200 lane miles of pavement repair and 66 bridges to its growing list of projects to be delivered sooner than planned, thanks to the imminent influx of revenue from the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 (SB 1), the transportation funding and reform package passed in April.
Nearly $3.4 Billion in Transportation Projects to Be Accelerated
The city of Santa Clarita and SCV Veterans Memorial, Inc. invite the public to attend a special ceremony unveiling the new Fallen Warriors Monument at Veterans Historical Plaza in Newhall on Wednesday, November 8 starting at 10 a.m.
Nov. 8: City Unveils Fallen Warriors Monument in Newhall
Crime Prevention deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station along with Los Angeles County Probation Department officers conducted probation compliance searches Friday throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.
SCV Deputies Check Probationers, Aid in Domestic Violence Call
Here is the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Station's public safety report for Canyon Country (West), aka Zone 7, for October 2 through October 8, 2017
Crime Blotter: Robbery, Grand Theft in Canyon Country West
A suspect has been arrested in the investigation of an alleged sexual assault, according to Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station officials.
Suspect Arrested in Alleged Sexual Assault
Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States and a concern the California Highway Patrol addresses with its "Start Smart" program.
CHP Helps New Drivers with ‘Start Smart’ Classes
The California High-Speed Rail Authority punted one of the most important decisions during its monthly meeting Thursday, stoking concerns the entity is not moving quickly enough on the $64 billion project.
California’s Bullet Train Board Delays Award of Key Contract
An extensive investigation by the county of Los Angeles Department of Consumer and Business Affairs in conjunction with the office of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has resulted in a lawsuit announced today by the Attorney General against retailer Curacao.
AG Sues Retailer Curacao for Allegedly Preying on Consumers
1873 - Santa Barbara lawyers Charles Fernald and J.T. Richards purchase Rancho San Francisco for $33,000 (75 cents an acre) in a sheriff's sale [story]
CHESTERFIELD, MO — NewGround, a St. Louis-based experiential design-build firm, recently teamed up with Logix Federal Credit Union to work on a large scale facility project, a new corporate headquarters building for the full-service credit union in the Burbank, California area.
Valencia Will Soon be Home to Logix Federal Credit Union Headquarters
The CSUN women's volleyball team (10-9, 4-3 Big West) opens the second half of the Big West season this week as the Matadors head up the coast this week for road tests at No. 23 Cal Poly (17-2, 7-0 Big West) and UC Santa Barbara (4-15, 3-4 Big West). CSUN, coming off a tough five-set loss to Hawai'i at home, is 3-4 in seven road matches this season but has won two of three Big West road contests.
Matadors Volleyball Testing Their Skills on the Road
No. 5 College of the Canyons defeated L.A. Mission College 3-0 on Wednesday to earn its eighth consecutive match and fifth straight sweep. Set scores were 25-15, 25-11, and 25-20.
Cougars Volleyball Earns Fifth Straight Sweep
CSUN Women's Soccer (7-4-5, 3-1-1 BWC) looks to move up in the Big West standings this week as it hosts UC Irvine on Thursday at 7:00 p.m.
Matadors Get Ready for Big West Matchups
Behind Julio Rubio's goal in the 11th minute CSUN defeated UC Riverside 1-0 in Big West Conference men's soccer action Wednesday night.
Matadors Lone Goal Enough to Hold Off UC Riverside
Northridge, CA – CSUN Athletics officially opened its new satellite athletic training facility on Thursday at an event featuring Athletic Director Dr. Brandon Martin, Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainer Steven Grech, student-athletes, coaches, staff and campus partners.
Matadors Student-Athletes Welcome New Training Facility
Want unique gifts and a shopping experience unlike any other?
Nov. 18-19: City’s Annual Two-Day Fine Craft Show
City officials gathered Wednesday for the Grand Opening of "Three Oaks," the first 100 percent affordable family development in Santa Clarita.
Affordable Housing Comes to Santa Clarita
The Gibbon Conservation Center will celebrate Halloween for the first time on Saturday, Oct. 28 from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Oct. 28: Gibbon Conservation Center Celebrates First Halloween
California State University, Northridge is partnering with the California State University Entertainment Alliance to host a morning of workshops designed to offer students and members of the public advice on building successful careers in the entertainment industry.
Oct. 23: CSUN Workshop; Succeeding in Entertainment Industry
Spotlight Arts Center, a local non-profit that provides free performing and visual arts classes to children in the Santa Clarita Valley, will hold its Fall Festival, Sunday, Oct. 22 from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Oct. 22: Fall Festival Spotlight Arts Center
The College of the Canyons Athletics department is inviting all players, coaches and cheerleaders associated with a Santa Clarita Valley youth sports league or cheer organization to attend Saturday's Cougar football game free of charge.
Oct. 21: SCV Youth Teams Invited to Free COC Football Game
College of the Canyons freshmen Joanna Roecker and Cassandra Lee both turned in scores of 79 to lead the Cougars to a second place team finish at the Western State Conference (WSC) event hosted by Glendale College at Brookside Golf Course on Monday.
COC Falls Short at WSC Glendale
Beginning Monday, October 23, 2017, the city of Santa Clarita will increase the frequency of street sweeping throughout all areas of the City.
Oct. 23: City Begins Increased Street Sweeping Frequency
In a battle for Western State Conference, East Division supremacy, it was College of the Canyons that came out on top Tuesday night, as the Cougars scored two second half goals to secure a 2-0 win against visiting Antelope Valley College. Justine Hoeft and Jennifer Roney collected goals for the Cougars (11-2, 2-0).
COC Secures Win Against AVC With Two Second-Half Goals
The upcoming 10-year anniversary of the Buckweed Fires offers Santa Clarita residents a reminder of the ever-present fire danger in Los Angeles County, as blazes ravage the northern half of the state, as well.
Officials Reflect on 10-Year Anniversary of Buckweed Fires
Deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station, with help from a Smartphone GPS system, were able to locate a lost hiker Wednesday night at Towsley Canyon.
Smartphone GPS Locates Lost Towsley Canyon Hiker
Dreamation Craft Guild will be hosting a boutique at Canyon High School, Nov. 18, from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. to benefit the family of John Phippen, the Santa Clarita resident who was killed in the Las Vegas shooting.
Nov. 18: Holiday Marketplace Benefiting John Phippen Family
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – To ensure drivers, passengers, and children are properly restrained while traveling California’s roadways, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) has partnered with the California Office of Traffic Safety on a new traffic safety campaign entitled, “California Restraint Safety Education And Training” (CARSEAT).
CHP’s New Traffic Safety Campaign Focuses on Saving Lives, Reducing Injuries