Oscar Villarreal, Young Mexican Swindler, Indicted on 19 Counts of Fraud and Money Laundering

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. 

About The Author

Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
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