Pinay 'Ponzi schemer' sentenced to jail in US

Posted at 08/14/2013 12:08 PM | Updated as of 08/14/2013 9:45 PM

NEW YORK CITY - Dubbed by victims as the “Bernie Madoff of the Filipino Community” – Ponzi schemer Razel Canedo was sentenced to 24 months in jail and 3 years supervised release thereafter.

The plea bargain states that Canedo pleaded guilty to 1 count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Judge Loretta Preska also ordered restitution of $949,200 to be paid to the known victims of the 44-year-old con artist.

While some victims wanted a longer sentence, some were happy with the victory. “We’ll take it, for us it’s not enough but we’ll take it,” said Jheett Tolentino, the group’s whistleblower who lost $25,000.

Canedo admitted in court that between January 2003 and July 2008, she was trying to set up and run a supposed “nanny service and nursing agency business” that would help bring Filipino nurses from the Philippines to work in the US.

Canedo recruited a number professionals who invested their hard-earned money in her business that turned out to be a scam.

For Charles Doolan, a $100,000 invested and lost is an expensive lesson to learn.

“It’s not only the money, it’s the stress involved, of course the money is substantial in my case, six figures and that’s a lot of money,” Doolan said.

Her victims say Canedo didn’t just steal their money, she stole part of their lives.

Canedo’s get-rich-quick scheme promised investors a return of up to 50%.

In her statement during the sentencing, Canedo apologized to the victims and told the court that they will never see her in court ever again as she is determined to better her life.

In her final statement Judge Loretta Preska said that it’s one thing to steal people’s money, but it’s another thing to destroy people’s lives as a consequence of her criminal act.

Canedo now has 60 days to turn herself in at the Danbury correctional center for women in Connecticut.