Oscar Villarreal, the young Mexican businessman seen as a rising star in the Northeast Ohio business community, has been indicted by a grand jury on 19 counts of fraud and money laundering.
Villarreal, now 29, swindled millions of dollars from 51 of Cleveland's most prominent figures on the business-civic-leader matrix, promising massive returns on investment for funds related to petroleum and steel in his native Mexico.
The charismatic Villarreal endeared himself to Cleveland higher-ups by moving to Gates Mills and joining cultural boards, and then paying an initial group of investors a 30 percent return. He used later investments to play the stock market and furnish a lavish lifestyle for himself, complete with European sports car and Steinway grand.
Villarreal is currently a fugitive in Mexico, but the FBI's on the case. They're seeking tips about his current location.